HARRISBURG, Pa., March 28 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of Governor Edward G. Rendell, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Yablonsky today announced $525,000 in funding by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA) to support the Governor's technology-focused economic development strategy. "Providing funding for technology-based initiatives and projects is a smart investment for Pennsylvania and its economy," said Secretary Yablonsky. "The programs approved today will support the Commonwealth's emerging small businesses, universities and communities. These programs will not only enhance partnerships with new, hi-tech businesses, but will also create new, quality jobs for Pennsylvanians." 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: Navy Yard Keystone Innovation Zone: The Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation was awarded $100,000 for operating costs related to the Navy Yard Keystone Innovation Zone, bringing the number of approved KIZs to 13. Partnering with the Penn State University Applied Research Lab, Drexel University, the Collegiate Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development and the Naval Sea Commands Philadelphia Shipyard Systems Engineering Station, the Navy Yard KIZ will concentrate on technologies in the physical and engineering sciences with a specific focus on materials processing and power and energy. The Navy Yard KIZ will also collaborate with the established University City KIZ to assist early-stage companies in the life sciences industry by offering additional suitable space for growth and expansion in the City of Philadelphia. Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center: The Pittsburgh Technology Council was awarded $200,000 in funding for the establishment of the Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center. The Center will focus on ensuring that Pennsylvania is the market leader in the research and production of new products and technologies related to nanomaterials. The Center will develop and commercialize innovative solutions to meet the current and future needs of the nanomaterials marketplace, which includes polymer system enhancements, coatings, sensors and films applications. The NanoMaterials Commercialization Center will bring together a cooperative of companies and universities across the Commonwealth like PPG, Bayer MaterialScience, U.S. Steel Corporation, and Alcoa, Inc., Carnegie Mellon University and Penn State University, as well as long-standing players in the Pennsylvania Initiative for Nanotechnology (PIN). In an effort to ensure that the Commonwealth's companies are positioned to continue their leadership in the field of nanomaterials research, the Center will also work to become a federally funded center through the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). Led by the National Science Foundation and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the NNI is designed to coordinate nearly $1 billion in nanotechnology research across 18 federal agencies. Tri-County Technology Infrastructure: Pocono Mountains Industries was awarded $225,000 for the Tri-County Infrastructure project. In cooperation with the Colonial Intermediate Unit, the Pocono Mountains Industries will use the funds to expand the telecommunication infrastructure throughout Monroe, Pike and Northampton counties. This investment will help deliver new or enhanced broadband access for several business parks and commercial locations in underserved or disadvantaged areas. This project will also ensure broadband access for all students K-12 in the Pocono Mountains region, as well as for the public safety, healthcare, local government and non-profit industries. 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. 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 (1-866-466-3972). CONTACT: Neil R. Weaver, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, +1-717-783-1132.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development