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 capital. 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. ADDENDUM 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 Center 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 Commercialization Program 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 operation expertise. 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 fund statewide. 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 commercialization potential. 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