HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- On behalf of Pennsylvania Gov.
Mark Schweiker, Community and Economic Development Acting Secretary Tim
McNulty today announced more than $3.7 million in Ben Franklin Technology
Development Authority (BFTDA) funding for five technology projects in
"Pennsylvania is poised on the cutting edge of technological research and
development," Acting Secretary McNulty said. "Investments such as the
projects funded through the BFTDA provide a new and vital vehicle for
investing in economic, community and university-based innovation, ensuring
that Pennsylvania continues to be a major player in the technology
BFTDA is a $54.3 million initiative, providing state-of-the-art financing
targeting technology company growth. The BFTDA investment funds flexible
financing and investment opportunities designed to meet the needs of
technology-oriented businesses and are adaptable to the newly developed
business structures evolving in the new technology economy.
BFTDA funding supports the four regional Ben Franklin Technology Partners,
which are dedicated to strengthening the Commonwealth's economy by fostering
technology innovation and creating and retaining high-wage, high-skilled jobs.
The BFTDA funding also supports the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse, the
NanoManufacturing Partnership (State College), the NanoTechnology Initiative
(Southeast) and the Center for Optical Technologies (Lehigh).
During the past four years, BFTDA has provided funding for 39 Technology
Development Grants encompassing e-commerce, workforce training and community
access and 26 Direct Company and Venture Capital Fund Investments, impacting
more than 57,000 citizens, 11,500 businesses and creating more than 600 jobs.
Since 1995, Pennsylvania families and employers have saved $19 billion
through tax cuts, workers' compensation reform, reduced red tape and electric
deregulation. These savings have helped to create nearly 500,000 new jobs.
The following projects were approved:
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania were
approved for a $2 million investment to create the Ben Franklin Investment
Partners, which will be used as a loan guarantee for investors and a $260,000
operational grant over two years, to promote increased investment by
accredited private investors in early stage technology companies in
southeastern Pennsylvania. Industry targets will include, but are not limited
to: communications, business services, information technologies, electronics,
life sciences, medical devices and services, advanced manufacturing and
The DuBois Regional Medical Center, DuBois, in partnership with the Elk
Regional Health Center and Clearfield Hospital, was awarded an $80,000 grant
to aid in the creation of the Collaborative Teleradiology Network between the
DuBois Regional Medical Center, Elk Regional Health Center and Clearfield
Hospital. Teleradiology will expand the radiological services and coverage at
the partnering hospitals through its 24-hour-a-day availability, allowing area
radiologists to integrate their services to care for more patients, while
eliminating the need to expend travel time.
Murex Investment Inc., a SBA New Markets Venture Capital fund located in
Philadelphia, was approved for a $1 million investment over two years to
develop the Murex Investments Inc. L.P., designed to increase technology in
distressed areas, Keystone Opportunity Zones and technology incubators
throughout a 15-county region in the Northeast and Southeast regions of the
state, and the Lehigh Valley.
61C Networks Inc., a Pittsburgh based information-technology company,
received approval for the disbursement of a $250,000 investment by the BFTDA
Board. 61C Networks has developed technology that analyzes available routes
on the Internet and redirects traffic to use only the highest-performing
routes, offering telecom services at Internet prices.
The North Central Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development
Commission was approved for a $135,000 grant to develop the North Central Six-
County Telecom Infrastructure Development Project, which will assist in the
construction of a public fiber optic system between St. Mary's and Ridgeway.
This project, originated through the Key-Net Alliance, a public/private
partnership between the Commonwealth and Adelphia Business Solutions (ABS),
will be matched by $135,000 from ABS and $135,000 from the local development
district/federal contribution. The fiber optic system will bring bandwidth on
demand to a six-county wireless Local Area Network (LAN) and will serve to
further deployment of broadband connectivity to school districts, municipal
governments, business/industrial parks and private sector businesses within a
six-county region, including Cameron, Clearfield, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and
CONTACT: Megan Wolff Galko of Pennsylvania Department of Community and
Economic Development, +1-717-783-1132.
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development