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  • Writer's pictureBen Franklin 4 PA

DCED Outlines Proposed $5 Million Funding Increase for Ben Franklin during House Budget Hearing


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

DCED Outlines Proposed $5 Million Funding Increase for Ben Franklin during House Budget Hearing

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Feb. 26, 2020) --- The state Department of Community and Economic Development has an ambitious plan to fuel innovation across Pennsylvania, reinforcing the commonwealth as a national competitor in attracting and retaining entrepreneurs and startups through strategic funding and community support, according to testimony presented by the agency today before the House Appropriations Committee.

The committee is reviewing the Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposed 2020-21 General Fund budget, which includes a $12.35 million increase to drive an evidence-based, statewide innovation strategy. Part of that plan is an additional $5 million for the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, 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.

“For more than 35 years, Ben Franklin has been powering innovation, fueling growth and creating jobs in our commonwealth,” said Ryan E. Glenn, Ben Franklin’s Director of Statewide Initiatives. “Building an ecosystem that fosters innovation and drives entrepreneurial success like this isn’t easy, or cheap. But smart investments like this can generate economic growth and ensure Pennsylvania continues to capture its share of emerging high-tech developments.”

Ben Franklin’s success is well documented. 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 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.

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