Inspiring and developing ideas that have commercial potential.

Part of Ben Franklin’s mission is to promote an innovative community-wide infrastructure that fosters a favorable business environment for high-growth companies. In support of the region’s technology infrastructure, BFTP/NEP has invested in several Centers of Excellence, including:

Center for Photonics and Nanoelectronics

Lehigh University, Bethlehem
The Center for Photonics and Nanoelectronics focuses on innovation in photonics, electronics, and solid-state devices. The center channels Lehigh’s intellectual and physical resources into breakthrough photonics and nanoelectronics research that addresses significant challenges in energy, sustainable infrastructure and environment, and healthcare and biotechnology, among other sectors.

Center for Supply Chain Research

Lehigh University, Bethlehem

The Center for Supply Chain Research bridges theory and practice to promote a collaborative exchange of ideas on critical issues affecting supply chain management. By leveraging Lehigh’s faculty, students, alumni, and industry partners, the Center brings the latest developments in research and best practices together to generate new ideas for education and future knowledge in the field of supply chain management.

Emerging Technology Applications Center

Northampton Community College, Bethlehem
The Emerging Technology Applications Center (ETAC) helps companies gain a competitive advantage by applying alternative technologies to improve heating, drying, coating and curing processes, as well as conducts energy audits to enhance efficiencies. ETAC also helps clients investigate new equipment, materials, and processes before making large investments or production changes.

Enterprise Systems Center

Lehigh University, Bethlehem
The Enterprise Systems Center (ESC) is committed to helping industry become more efficient, productive, and competitive. The ESC employs students, professors, and professional engineers to work in teams that tackle a variety of industry situations, including operational improvements, product development and enhancement, enterprise resource integration, and more. More than 2,000 Lehigh University students have worked with BFTP/NEP clients over the 30+ years that the organizations have worked together.

Lehigh Emerging Technologies Network

Lehigh University, Bethlehem
The Lehigh Emerging Technologies Network (LETN) supports nanotechnology companies, partnerships, and workforce development initiatives; connects academic research with business drivers for commercialization; promotes visibility and alignment of the network with government initiatives and policies; and facilitates inclusion of socioeconomics, arts, and education in nanotechnology pursuits.

Medical Devices Consortium

The Medical Devices Consortium is a group of more than 80 individuals representing 40 companies and organizations in the Greater Reading area and beyond. Ben Franklin facilitates two to three sessions of the group annually and has introduced member companies to each other and college- and university-based technology resources. As a result of relationships formed through the Medical Devices Consortium, several companies have established new customer supplier relationships and are investigating joint marketing opportunities.

Plastics Innovation & Resource Center

Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport
The Plastics Innovation & Resource Center addresses applied research and development needs for the growing plastics sector with some of the most sophisticated technology in the world. The Center serves plastic processors, resin suppliers, mold builders, and equipment manufacturers, offering access to extensive material testing laboratories, industrial-scale process equipment, world-class training facilities, and a highly skilled training and consulting staff.