Governor Rendell Announces More Than $6.5 Million in Funding for Technology Projects

Sep 22, 2005, 01:00 ET from Pennsylvania Office of the Governor

    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
 and capital.
     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
 existing businesses.
     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
 secondary students.
     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 or call 1-(866)-GO-NEWPA (866) 466-3972.
     CONTACT:  Kate Philips

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor