HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Community and Economic
Development Secretary Dennis Yablonsky today announced more than $13.6 million
in funding from the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority to support
Governor Edward G. Rendell's technology-focused economic-development strategy.
"Investing in Pennsylvania's technology-based projects will create
high-wage, high-skilled jobs and strengthen Pennsylvania's overall economy,"
said Secretary Yablonsky. "Today we are funding innovative initiatives and
programs to support our strong commitment to the advancement of technology
here in the Commonwealth."
A number of significant projects were approved during the BFTDA board
meeting in late September including projects applied for by NewSpring Capital
Management LLC; Idea Foundry; Northampton Community College/Electrotechnology
Applications Center; Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse; Penn State University and
Drexel University/University of Pennsylvania and Ben Franklin Technology
Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
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 providing them with technical assistance and
The Governor's focus and commitment to Pennsylvania's technology-based
economy is exemplified through the programs that are part of his
economic-stimulus program. By leveraging investments that foster
collaboration among universities, economic development organizations and
businesses seeking to provide incentives and opportunities will help to keep
Pennsylvania's intellectual foundation in Pennsylvania.
The 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. 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.
Please see addendum for more detailed information on the approved projects.
Technology Company Investment Program:
Applicant: NewSpring Capital Management LLC
Project name: NewSpring Mezzanine Capital LP
Amount awarded: $3,000,000
Applicant: Idea Foundry
Project Name: Idea Foundry
Amount Awarded: $750,000
Technology Development Grant:
Applicant: Northampton Community College/Electrotechnology Applications
Project Name: Reduction of VOC Emission's Using Electron Beam Technology
Amount Awarded: $396,000
University Grant Projects:
Applicant: Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse
Project Name: Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse
Amount Awarded: $2,500,000
Applicant: Pennsylvania State University
Project Name: Penn State Nanotechnology Education, Research and
Amount Awarded: $3,500,000
Applicant: Drexel University, University of Pennsylvania, Ben Franklin
Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Project Name: Nanotechnology Institute (NTI)
Amount Awarded: $3,500,000
Technology Company Investment Grants:
NewSpring Mezzanine Capital LP is a new Fund being formed by NewSpring
Capital Management LLC. This venture fund management company is in the
process of developing a family of funds. NSC's family of funds portfolio
consists primarily of Pennsylvania companies, most of which are located in the
southeast region of Pennsylvania. The funds are managed by professionals with
more than 80 combined years of banking, venture capital investment banking and
NewSpring Capital Management was awarded $3 million to provide Mezzanine
capital in conjunction with equity sponsors, management teams and senior
leaders. NSC believes that there is a shortage of mezzanine capital in the
Fund's target market, the Mid-Atlantic Region. Currently, the availability of
senior debt capital to leverage cash flow is extremely scarce. This Fund is
being formed to fill that shortage. The NewSpring Mezzanine fund is pledging
a minimum of $12 million to Pennsylvania companies and plans to market the
Idea Foundry is a non-profit organization that supplies the critical
ingredients to transform an entrepreneur's business idea into a
Pennsylvania-based, fundable start-up. Idea Foundry bridges the gap of
business skills, knowledge, funding and relationships, which are vital when
launching your own information technology-related enterprise.
The Idea Foundry was awarded $750,000 from the BFTDA Technology Company
Investment Fund for the utilization of the Transformation Fellowship Program,
which provides up to $100,000 per company and is used for commercialization
resources to advance an idea. The Transformation Fellowship Program will
facilitate the development of a business around an information technology idea
developed by the individual(s) granted the fellowship. The Transformation
Fellowships are tenable for a period of up to one year.
The Electrotechnology Applications Center provides assistance to
businesses and manufacturers to help them increase productivity, improve
energy efficiency and achieve and maintain environmental compliance.
ETAC was awarded $396,000 from the BFTDA University Grant Program to
support the continued development and testing of ETAC's Electron Beam
Technology to eliminate Volatile Organic Compounds. VOCs are groups of
organic compounds characterized by their tendency to evaporate easily at room
temperature. Some familiar substances containing VOCs are solvents, gasoline,
paint thinners, and nail polish remover.
At the successful completion of the development and testing, the goal is
to have the systems manufactured in Pennsylvania and be used by a broad range
of industries. This project estimates that the system manufacturers will
create approximately 42 new jobs within one year. Manufacturers across the
Commonwealth will benefit from the use of these systems by reducing their VOC
abatement costs and thus becoming more profitable and competitive.
University Grant Projects:
Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse is a strategic economic development
initiative established to foster growth across a regional industry cluster
that is developing and employing System on Chip and related technologies for
networking and multimedia applications. The PDG mission is to leverage
existing strengths in the universities and business community to develop an
electronic chip design industry cluster in the Commonwealth.
Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse was awarded $2.5 million from the BFTDA
University Grant Program and the University Investment Grant Program for the
Electronic Design Technology Development Program. This program will focus on
providing a cost-effective mechanism for PDG members to collaborate on
advanced technology development. Through this collaboration, member firms and
universities will identify pre-competitive technology challenges and jointly
support a set of advanced technology projects to accelerate the creation of
new product concepts.
The EDTD Program will offer firms the opportunity to make a highly
leveraged investment in short- to medium-term projects that explore visionary
new product concepts for this emerging market sector.
Penn State Nanotechnology Research and Commercialization Project was
awarded $3.5 million to be used for support of The Penn State nanotechnology
education, research and commercialization program. The grant will provide
state co-funding for majority of federally sponsored nanotechnology research
centers at Penn State. The grant will also support nanotechnology research
seed grants, which are intended to be stepping stones that will help initiate
new high-risk/high-reward lines of research with prospects to develop into
significant new research thrusts.
The BFTDA grant will also provide the ability for Penn State University to
leverage National Science Foundation funds for nanofabrication research and
maintain a state-of-the-art facility that garners state, national and
worldwide attention. Research conducted at the nanofabrication facility will
likely lead to the development of products and technologies with great
The Nanotechnology Institute began as an initial alliance led by Ben
Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Drexel University
and the University of Pennsylvania. The NTI is now comprised of 11 academic
and research institutions, 12 corporations and 13 non-profit economic
development and business organizations. It is the first comprehensive model
of its kind designed to facilitate the research, development and communication
of nanotechnologies' real world application.
The Nanotechnology Institute was awarded $3.5 million by the BFTDA to
continue the success of the Nanotechnology Institute Program and carry out the
full range of functions proposed by the NTI. This grant will assist in
helping to further integrate all of these investments into a statewide
nanotechnology strategy to enable the Commonwealth to compete at the top
levels in its areas of strength.
CONTACT: Neil R. Weaver of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and
Economic Development, +1-717-783-1132.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development