HARRISBURG, PA – The Ben Franklin Technology Partners (BFTP), a statewide network that provides investment capital, business support services, incubation programs, and entrepreneurial training, celebrated its 30th anniversary with the help of three Pennsylvania governors.
With an introduction by State Senator John Gordner, the 30th Celebration Event was held from 3:30 through 5:30 P.M. in the auditorium at the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology. A panel discussion followed, moderated by Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation in Washington, D.C. Governor Tom Corbett delivered the opening remarks for the panel, which also consisted of former governors Dick Thornburgh and Tom Ridge.
Governor Corbett said, “The Ben Franklin Technology Partners continue to be a national model, powering the next generation of entrepreneurs and helping to transfer new technologies into the marketplace. My administration will continue to support Ben Franklin to help create the innovative, high-tech, and high-wage jobs that emerge from the work of the Partners. Congratulations on celebrating 30 years of success and enabling Pennsylvania to remain the state of innovation.”
Governor Ridge said, “I am very glad to be part of the 30th anniversary of Ben Franklin Technology Partners. Ben Franklin has an enviable track record launching successful new technology companies and helping established manufacturers innovate. As Chairman of the State Science and Technology Institute, I know first-hand that Ben Franklin has become the gold standard for technology-based economic development and the advantage that gives our state at many levels. Ben Franklin is truly one of the things that keep Pennsylvania a leader among states and a competitor among nations.”
Governor Thornburgh said, “While it is hard to believe it has been thirty years since the founding of Ben Franklin Technology Partners, I am gratified by the positive impact it has had on Pennsylvania economy. We knew back in 1982 that Pennsylvania had to diversify toward a knowledge-based economy and leverage the research and talent coming from our many institutions of higher education. Ben Franklin has helped the Commonwealth do just that and has built a powerful innovation network that is second to none in the country.”
“Ben Franklin Technology Partners is a leading example of the benefits of technology-based economic development, illustrating the positive impact government investment in innovation can have on entrepreneurship and economic growth,” noted Robert Atkinson, President of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) “Over its thirty year history, BFTP has been a major catalyst in the development of the modern high-tech economy, and I am confident they will continue to play a major role in the development of next-generation technologies, businesses, and industries.”
John Sider, the Statewide Director of Ben Franklin Technology Partners, commented, “This 30th anniversary event highlighted Pennsylvania’s preeminence in technology-based economic development. We are fortunate in the Commonwealth to have had leaders that understand that investment in innovation grows Pennsylvania’s knowledge economy and competiveness globally. Good ideas that are effectively nurtured lead to new products and processes, which, in turn, generate highly-paid, sustainable jobs here in the Commonwealth. We are proud of the partnership we have with our clients and the positive impact it has on Pennsylvania.”
Earlier in the day, BFTP announced the results of an independent, third-party evaluation of its impact on the State’s economy. Conducted by the Pennsylvania Economy League and KLIOS Consulting, the report covers the five-year timeframe from 2007 through 2011. The report found:
- BFTP boosted the Pennsylvania economy (Gross State Product) by $6.6 Billion from 2007 through 2011.
- Since 1989, BFTP has boosted the state’s economy by more than $23.5 billion.
- From 2007 through 2011, the Commonwealth received $358 million in additional state tax receipts as a direct result of BFTP investments in client firms. Another $144 million in state tax receipts flowed from related BFTP client services, for a total increase of $502 million in state revenue due to BFTP.
- New state tax revenue generated because of BFTP represents a 3.6 to 1 payback to the Commonwealth on its $137.7 million investment during that period.
- From 2007 through 2011, The BFTPs generated 7,485 additional jobs in client firms.
- Client revenues, purchasing and investments rippled throughout the Pennsylvania economy, giving rise to higher employment across the state. From 2007 through 2011, BFTP generated an additional 12,715 jobs beyond those in client firms.
- BFTP produced a total of 20,200 jobs in the Commonwealth between 2007 through 2011 that otherwise would not have existed.
- Since 1989, BFTP has generated 51,000 additional jobs in client firms.
- Since 1989, BFTP generated 89,000 additional jobs as a result of increased purchasing and investment by client firms, yielding a total of 140,000 new jobs attributable to BFTP’s work.
A copy of the report can be downloaded at http://benfranklin.org
About the Ben Franklin Technology Partners Statewide
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, provides investment capital, operational assistance, and entrepreneurial support to emerging technology-based companies and established manufacturers for the purpose of creating and retaining jobs in Pennsylvania.