Smart investments in innovation, high-tech development fuel Pa.’s economy
Gov. Tom Wolf announced that his proposed 2020-21 General Fund budget will include a $5 million increase for the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA), which funds the statewide Ben Franklin Technology Partners initiative, one of the most widely known and emulated state technology-based economic development programs in the nation.
Ben Franklin Technology Partners serves all 67 counties through four regionally based centers in Pittsburgh, State College, Bethlehem, and Philadelphia, with several satellite offices spread across the state. The initiative supports fledgling enterprises at their most vulnerable point — the early stages of commercialization and market development — and provides vital support services that clients cite as being key factors in their eventual success.
“Smart investments in innovation drive economic growth and ensure Pennsylvania continues to capture its share of emerging high-tech developments,” said Ryan E. Glenn, Ben Franklin’s Director of Statewide Initiatives. “In the nation’s highly competitive high-tech economy, every dollar matters. Investments in innovation will ensure our commonwealth remains a leader in supporting revolutionary technological developments, often driven by startups, that improve the human condition and address critical challenges now and in the future.”
Ben Franklin’s track record speaks for itself. According to an in-depth analysis by two independent nonpartisan research organizations, The Pennsylvania Economy League and KLIOS Consulting, every dollar invested by the state into Ben Franklin generates $3.90 in additional state taxes. Jobs created by Ben Franklin’s client industries pay an average of $79,364 annually, which is 52 percent more than the average non-farm wage in Pennsylvania.
Launched more than 35 years ago, Ben Franklin Technology Partners leverages the excellence of Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities to build and accelerate the development of technology-based industries through competitive investments in early-stage startups and funding for innovation in established manufacturers. The statewide initiative also supports university-based centers of excellence and promotes greater collaboration among academia, businesses, investors, and government.
“That’s why this $5 million investment is so important — to help us continue the important work we do,” Ryan said. “We look forward to working with the governor and lawmakers to make it a reality as the state works to finalize a 2020-21 General Fund budget.”
For additional information, visit www.BenFranklin.org.
For a full copy of the in-depth analysis from The Pennsylvania Economy League and KLIOS Consulting detailing Ben Franklin’s success, visit www.BenFranklin.org/reports.