HANCOCK — An international environmental project has new research labs opening locally.

Michigan Tech Materials Science Professor Jim Hwang met with an established Chinese Environmental company last year. He told them about the environmental research done at Tech and in the U.P. Now, the same Chinese company is opening its first international branch in downtown Hancock called Evergreen Technology.

“We are sponsored by a company in China called Futianbao. That company has been in the environmental business for more than 50 years. In the Hancock the majority will be converted into the labs. In the lab we’ll do a lot of technology development for environmental cleanup,” said President of Evergreen Technology Jim Hwang.

This project was started in response to China’s strong environmental clean up initiative. Evergreen Technology will focus on extracting heavy metals from water. Futianbao has committed $5 million dollars over 5 years to the research in Hancock. Company representatives from China and local U.P. government officials met at the location of the new Hancock office. This building at 200 Quincy Street is expected to be ready to start research in March 2016. Company reps say this project will bring jobs to the area as well as give business to local companies.

“I think this brings economic growth on a big global scale. We’re going to see more of these companies coming here because of our high–tech smart zone areas like Michigan Tech and Finlandia. This is going to develop more of a base for future development of companies and future education and a better tie to China,” added State Representative Scott Dianda.