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  • Writer's pictureBen Franklin 4 PA

$5 M Funding Increase Proposed for Ben Franklin to Drive Innovation, Foster High-Tech Development


Media Contact: Ryan Glenn, P: 717-948-4317

$5 Million Funding Increase Proposed for Ben Franklin to Drive Innovation, Foster High-Tech Development, Fuel Pa.’s Economy

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Feb. 4, 2020) --- Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA), which funds the statewide Ben Franklin Technology Partners initiative, would receive $5 million as part of an innovation investment package formally unveiled today as part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2020-21 General Fund budget.

The funding is part of a new initiative that totals $12.35 million to ensure the commonwealth, with the leadership of organizations like Ben Franklin, remains a national competitor in attracting and retaining entrepreneurs and startups. The governor previewed the budget investments during an event in Pittsburgh on Jan. 24.

“Competition is fierce in the innovation economy,” said Ryan E. Glenn, Ben Franklin’s Director of Statewide Initiatives. “This smart investment is a major stepping stone in ensuring Pennsylvania remains at the forefront and continues to build out an ecosystem that fosters high-tech development and drives entrepreneurial success. Smart investments like this benefit our entire commonwealth.”

Ben Franklin Technology Partners, one of the most widely known and emulated state technology-based economic development programs in the nation, serves all 67 counties through four regionally based centers in Pittsburgh, State College, Bethlehem and Philadelphia, with several satellite offices spread across the state. Among its key initiatives:

  • Supporting fledgling enterprises at their most vulnerable point --- the early stages of commercialization and market development.

  • Providing vital support services that clients cite as being key factors in their eventual success.

  • Leveraging the excellence of Pennsylvania’s colleges and universities to build and accelerate the development of technology-based industries.

  • Making competitive investments in early-stage startups and providing competitive funding for innovation in established manufacturers.

  • Supporting university-based centers of excellence and promoting greater collaboration among academia, businesses, investors and government.

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.

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