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Delta Airlines Touches Down in Tech Square with $5 Million Investment

Deepening ties with Georgia Tech, Delta will open a research and development center on campus

Nov 13, 2015

One of the world’s leading airline companies is developing a collaborative research center in the heart of Tech Square.

Delta Airlines will invest $2 million to build the facility, in which it plans to enhance operations and improve customer experience by tapping into the knowledge at Georgia Tech, and has committed an additional $3 million to the Georgia Tech Foundation.

“Delta Air Lines and Georgia Tech have a rich heritage of working together in everything from research to hiring our co-ops and graduates. We are delighted that Delta’s collaborative research center will provide even greater opportunities for Georgia Tech students, faculty, and staff to work with this outstanding global airline,” said Georgia Tech President G.P. “Bud” Peterson.

Delta has pioneered many firsts in the airline industry including the use of a hub and spoke system in 1955, being the first U.S. airline with motion graphic maps in the cabin showing the aircraft’s position and route in 1992, and launching the first mobile baggage tracking app in 2011.

The innovation center at Georgia Tech will also be a first for any college in the United States.

“This facility is the first of its kind for the domestic aviation industry. Tapping into the bright minds at Georgia Tech is an opportunity to gain new perspectives and approaches across Delta for changes that will advance our business now and for years to come,” said Gil West, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Delta. “At Delta we are continuously seeking to improve and elevate our operations and the customer experience.”

Inside the space, Georgia Tech students will have the opportunity to improve Delta’s day-to-day business operations as well as customer experience.

The new research center will be completed by 2016 in the Centergy Building. The building is already home to other industry innovation centers for The Home Depot, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Panasonic, and AT&T.

Delta's $3 million investment in the Georgia Tech Foundation will be used to fund the Georgia Tech Advanced Manufacturing Pilot Facility (AMPF). The AMPF establishes Georgia Tech as a national leader in advanced manufacturing with a collaboration among the Schools of Mechanical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Interactive Computing.

“We are grateful to The Delta Air Lines Foundation for their generous commitment that will facilitate breakthrough research in advanced manufacturing,” President Peterson said.