NS, Georgia Tech Team on Sustainability ProgramWritten by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
Atlanta, Ga.-based Norfolk Southern (NS) has committed $750,000 to the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), which will create a new initiative for entrepreneurs in sustainability-focused technology.
ATDC is a program of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute. As the state’s technology startup incubator, it is funded annually by the Georgia General Assembly. Its mission is to “work with entrepreneurs in Georgia to help them learn, launch, scale, and succeed in the creation of viable, disruptive technology companies.”
ATDC on Nov. 15 reported that it will formally launch a Sustainability Technology Program in January 2023, with NS’s gift supporting it for three years. The program is the eighth industry-focused vertical at ATDC, which started two others earlier in 2022: one in robotics and automation, and the other in supply chain logistics.
The NS gift will support:
- Initial funding for current and future sustainability-related startups.
- One-on-one coaching via a dedicated ATDC employee, who will manage the sustainability vertical and work to build the pipeline of innovators from across Georgia.
- Sustainability-focused curriculum and other resources.
“Norfolk Southern and Georgia Tech are teaming up to support forward-thinking innovation around sustainability,” NS Chief Sustainability Officer Josh Raglin said. “Together, some of the brightest minds in Georgia and the business community can continue to make sustainable progress for our nation’s supply chain and economy. Through our collaboration with ATDC and the incubator’s sustainability vertical, we will join with students and entrepreneurs in the business of a better planet as they transform their revolutionary ideas into actionable and successful business models.”
“With Norfolk Southern at the forefront of sustainability innovation and its support of our dedicated sustainability vertical at ATDC, we are doubling down on one of the biggest opportunities for startups and innovators today and pursuing a very important corporate and societal goal,” said John Avery, Director of ATDC, which has a history of supporting startups with sustainable technology innovations, including Suniva, Emergy, and Quest Renewables. “We can become a hub for all of these sustainability entrepreneurs and their innovations and grow this ecosystem in Georgia by helping to launch viable companies across the state.”
In related developments, NS in August released its 15th annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report highlighting the company’s progress “reducing its environmental impact, creating a culture of inclusion, investing in its people, strengthening governance practices, and helping customers achieve their sustainability goals.”