Ben Franklin News

Ben Franklin to Invest $393,146 In Regional Economic Development

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s (BFTP/NEP) Board of Directors approved the investment of $393,146 in support of regional economic development. The investments are with five early-stage technology companies and two established manufacturers. 

BFTP/NEP’s goal is to help lead northeastern Pennsylvania to a better economic future by building partnerships that develop and apply technology for competitive advantage. To achieve this goal, Ben Franklin staff concentrate their efforts on three key areas:

  1. developing early-stage technology-oriented companies,
  2. helping established manufacturers creatively apply new technology and business practices to achieve industry leadership, and
  3. promoting an innovative community-wide infrastructure that fosters a favorable business environment for high-growth companies.

Since beginning operation, BFTP/NEP has helped to start 398 new companies, developed 865 new products and processes, created 13,931 new jobs for Pennsylvania workers and retained 20,772 existing jobs. The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania is headquartered on the campus of Lehigh University and operates Ben Franklin TechVentures, an award-winning business incubator/post-incubator facility, in Bethlehem.

Ben Franklin announces the following early-stage company investments:

Advanced-Tec Materials Corporation, West Hazleton, Luzerne County
Ben Franklin Investment: $40,000
Finalize product formulation and production equipment requirements for a new insulation and fireproofing material. Advanced-Tec produces industrial materials based on proprietary formulations utilizing recycled coal-combustion fly-ash. These environmentally sound products achieve superior performance compared to competitive materials.

Electrikus Incorporated, Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $38,000
Commercialize the company’s initial product, the Illumaguard. The Illumaguard is a patent-pending, technologically innovative, and energy-smart battery back-up for residential lighting in the event of a power outage. The product is inconspicuous and intelligent in the way it discharges and recharges, and will allow a household lamp to light automatically at the onset of a power outage. It operates for 10 hours on a full charge.

Element ID, Inc., Ben Franklin TechVentures, Bethlehem, Northampton County
Ben Franklin Investment: $50,000
Support the initial sales and ramp-up of a new type of radio frequency identification (RFID) tag reader for use in the materials handling environment. Unlike competitors’ systems, Element ID’s systems provide better read rates; seamless interaction with other automation equipment; intelligent, multi-reader systems designed to work over conveyors; and readers that are not sensitive to interference and can withstand harsh industrial environments.

eVendor Check, Inc., Hawley, Pike County
Ben Franklin Investment: $100,000
Further enhance the current software for the company’s web-based reference checking system for procurement professionals. eVendor Check’s clients reduce risks associated with vendor selection by using proprietary web-based tools and a supporting database, rather than the conventional, less-effective telephone-based method of vendor investigation.The software improvements will allow the company to roll out its services on a broad-scale, high-volume basis.

Future Power of PA, Inc., Moosic, Lackawanna County
University Partner: Wilkes University
Ben Franklin Investment: $74,000
Analyze geological formations in the region to determine if they are a viable location for carbon dioxide sequestration. The new 270 megawatt integrated gasification combined cycle power plant being proposed for Good Spring, PA, has the ability to capture its carbon dioxide by-product. This study will assist in sequestration efforts.

Ben Franklin announces the following established manufacturer company investments.

Dynalene, Inc., Whitehall, Lehigh County
University Partner: Lehigh University
Ben Franklin Investment: $41,146
Develop a new heat-transfer fluid, based on molten salt chemistry, for concentrated solar power plants. Fluids currently used in the solar industry are thermally unstable at temperatures above 390 degrees centigrade, which reduces overall plant efficiency.

Ward Manufacturing, Blossburg, Tioga County
University Partner: Pennsylvania State University
Ben Franklin Investment: $50,000
Reduce energy costs and environmental impact at this manufacturer of cast iron pipe and fittings by replacing cupola coke with collagen-binded anthracite fines as fuel. Also reduce consumption of sand, clay, and coal by implementing a new reclamation system.