Statewide initiative continues to innovate to recovery.
HARRISBURG, Pa. (Feb. 4, 2021) — Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2021-22 General Fund budget would provide continued investments in innovation through $14.5 million in funding to the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA), which funds the Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP). BFTP is a statewide economic development initiative that invests in and supports high-tech entrepreneurs and startups, and innovative manufacturers, which create and retain the highly paid, sustainable jobs that drive Pennsylvania’s new economy.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners serves all 67 counties through four regionally based centers in Pittsburgh, State College, Bethlehem, and Philadelphia, with satellite offices across the state. Launched more than 35 years ago, Ben Franklin has become one of the most widely known and emulated state technology-based economic development programs in the nation.
“We’re grateful for the governor’s support and look forward to working with his administration and the General Assembly to ensure Ben Franklin has the resources it needs to keep building an ecosystem that fosters high-tech development and drives entrepreneurial success,” said Ryan E. Glenn, Ben Franklin’s Director of Statewide Initiatives.
“We believe now more than ever that investments in innovation are critical — not only to help our state continue its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to fuel the recovery that will help to get our economy back on track,” Glenn said.
The governor’s $14.5 million proposal for the 2021-22 fiscal year would keep Ben Franklin’s base appropriation level. (During the last fiscal year, the state provided an additional $1 million to each of the four statewide partners, matched by each of them, to invest in promising clients that were experiencing hardships due to the impact of COVID-19.)
Recognizing the agility of early-stage technology firms and innovative manufacturers, the state also tagged Ben Franklin to help launch the “Pennsylvania Manufacturing Call to Action Portal” to rapidly mobilize innovative manufacturers to produce critical medical products in response to the virus.
Almost from the very first days of COVID-19, Ben Franklin and its clients have been working around the clock and contributing to efforts to address this public health issue in various ways, from treatments, to testing, to logistics, to other support mechanisms, including mobilizing or retooling manufacturing to produce the critical medical supplies and products to keep people healthy and safe.
“Innovation has proven to be key in our response to this pandemic and it will remain central to our recovery,” Glenn said.
For additional information, visit: www.benfranklin4pa.com.