HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today
announced more than $6.5 million in investments by the Ben Franklin Technology
Development Authority (BFTDA) to support his technology-focused economic
development strategy and the creation of advanced technology and high-tech
"Today we are funding ground-breaking initiatives and programs to support
our strong commitment to the advancement of technology across the
commonwealth." Governor Rendell said. "Not only will these programs support
the commonwealth's emerging small businesses, but also our universities and
communities where new ideas and new technologies are emerging.
"These projects will enhance partnerships with new, hi-tech businesses
that will create new, quality jobs for Pennsylvanians," the Governor added.
"Pennsylvania last year, along with its partners, invested approximately
$175 million in more than 80 biosciences companies," Governor Rendell added.
"As a direct result of that public investment, the private sector has invested
an additional $700 million to help grow existing biosciences companies and
attract new firms to the commonwealth."
The BFTDA is a state-funded network dedicated to fostering technology
innovation, strengthening the commonwealth's economy and creating and
retaining high-salary jobs that require advanced skill levels. The BFTDA
provides funding for a host of technology initiatives and supports four Ben
Franklin Technology Partners throughout Pennsylvania that identify the most
promising technological ventures and support them with technical assistance
The following projects were approved by the BFTDA:
Center for eBusiness and Advanced Information Technology: The Ben Franklin
Center of Excellence for Northwest Pennsylvania was awarded $2 million in
funding for the Center for eBusiness and Advanced Information Technology
(eBizITPA), a technology-based economic development organization. This funding
will not only enhance technology transfer and advanced information technology
(IT), but also will educate, train and provide businesses with IT solutions.
Pennsylvania businesses will become more competitive in the global market and,
through the Center's apprentice and intern programs, the commonwealth will
have the ability to attract and retain talent throughout the region. eBizITPA
was created in 2002 to assist the growth of Pennsylvania technology-related
companies and the integration of e-business technology and processes to
Pennsylvania Angel Network (PAN): PAN was awarded $50,000 in operational
funding which will support its goal to provide new and existing angel groups
with training opportunities, back office support and access to needed research
and due diligence resources. Angel investors are a crucial component of early
stage business financing that will often bridge the gap between seed stage
self-funding and venture capital. By organizing and supporting the Angel
investors in Pennsylvania, PAN will improve the overall investment environment
and stimulate increased funding for Pennsylvania's new businesses.
Nanotechnology Manufacturing Technology Partnership (NMT): Managed by
staff at The Pennsylvania State University, NMT was awarded $1.4 million in
funding to support the continued operation of this nationally recognized
workforce development program. This program will place special emphasis on
the development of new learning tools, professional development, student
recruitment and industry outreach activities. The NMT program was established
in 1998 to address the needs of Pennsylvania industry for skilled
nanofabrication workers. The NMT Partnership offers professional development
programs for educators and industry personnel and outreach programs for
Technology Collaborative: The Technology Collaborative (TTC) was awarded
$2 million to be utilized for university-based technology research and
development and industry-based technology development and commercialization.
The TTC, an economic development organization launched in 2005, is the direct
result of the merger between the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse and the
Robotics Foundry. The TTC is designed to help increase Pennsylvania's
technology-based economy by developing collaborating industry clusters that
leverage the region's world-class assets in advanced electronics, cyber
security and robotics.
Plum Capital LLC: Plum Capital LLC was awarded $1 million for investment
into its new venture capital fund, Plum Holdings II LP. The Fund will leverage
this investment to make a minimum of $4 million in additional venture capital
available for Pennsylvania early stage media companies. A venture capital
management group, Plum Capital generates substantial capital gains through
early stage investments in companies operating in the media industry. The goal
of the fund will be to capitalize on a growth-oriented media company's
significant need for "smart" equity capital.
Southside Bethlehem Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) funding: The Lehigh
Valley Economic Development Corporation received $187,500 as part of its
second year KIZ operational funding. One of the first KIZs to be approved by
the BFTDA, the Southside Bethlehem KIZ has worked closely with its partners to
create and implement its Technology Transfer Grant Program in providing more
than $125,000 in assistance to five, new start-up companies and two early
stage firms. During its first year of operations, the Southside Bethlehem KIZ
created 19 and retained 37 quality jobs.
A cornerstone of Governor Rendell's economic stimulus package, the KIZ
program offers the commonwealth's graduates an incentive to stay in
Pennsylvania by creating an environment where opportunities are abundant, help
is accessible and innovation is not only encouraged, but also supported and
rewarded. The KIZs will encourage the creation of new business, expand the
research and development sector of Pennsylvania's economy and facilitate
technology transfer to existing companies.
Governor Rendell's economic stimulus package contains several programs
that focus on technology development including the New Pennsylvania Venture
Capital Investment Program, Second Stage Loan Guarantee, the New Pennsylvania
Venture Loan Guarantee Program, Keystone Innovation Zones and the Research and
Development Tax Credit and its tradability component. These programs focus
investment in new high-growth companies and channel support and funding for
companies to expand, create jobs and retain Pennsylvania's talent.
For additional information on any of the stimulus package programs, please
visit http://www.newPA.com or call 1-(866)-GO-NEWPA (866) 466-3972.
CONTACT: Kate Philips
SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor