Two critical economic development goals for Pennsylvania – advanced manufacturing and foreign trade – got significant boosts earlier this month with a series of federal grants.
Two public-private partnerships, one in Pittsburgh and one in Philadelphia, were each awarded nearly $1.9 million through the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, a competitive grant aimed at spurring job creation through advanced manufacturing.
In Southwestern PA, the Agile Electro-Mechanical Product Accelerator is "a way to help young companies in the hardware space get up, get their products developed and to market," explains Bob Starzynski of Innovation Works
. "And it's a way to help established companies create a pipeline for new product development and get those products to market." Energy efficiency and workforce training are also in the mix, he adds.
In Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center
's Greater Philadelphia Advanced Manufacturing Innovation and Skills Accelerator aims to fast track the rate at which manufacturing businesses identify and commercialize innovations, reducing risk and roadblocks.
In a separate grant, the state Department of Community and Economic Development
(DCED) was awarded $2.35 million to help Pennsylvania's small businesses boosting their exports. Funds will be provided to qualifying companies to participate in trade missions, shows and business development activities.
Sources: Bob Starzynski, Innovation Works; Tony Girifalco, DVIRC; Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers; U.S. Department of Energy
Writer: Elise Vider