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  • Writer's pictureBen Franklin 4 PA

DCED Tells Senate Committee Proposed Innovative Package Includes $5 Million Increase for BFTDA

Updated: Mar 2, 2021


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

DCED Tells Senate Committee Proposed Innovative Package Includes $5 Million Increase for Ben Franklin

HARRISBURG, Pa. (Feb. 27, 2020) --- In the second of two budget hearings for the state Department of Community and Economic Development, members of the Senate Appropriations Committee heard more about the agency’s plan to invest $12.35 in an evidence-based, statewide innovation strategy, which includes a $5 million increase for the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, which funds the statewide Ben Franklin Technology Partners initiative.

Recognized internationally as the gold standard in technology-based economic development, Ben Franklin is a four-center economic development initiative supported by the DCED to strengthen regional economies, build Pennsylvania’s technology-based economy, and create highly paid, sustainable jobs.

The formula works. 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.

“Startups, particularly technology-based ones, are an essential component of an innovative and competitive economy,” said Ryan E. Glenn, Ben Franklin’s Director of Statewide Initiatives. “The challenge is making sure we remain competitive. Gov. Wolf’s $5 million investment is a good first step in getting us to where we need to be --- at the leading edge of innovation and high-tech development.”

Launched more than 35 years ago, Ben Franklin Technology Partners 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.

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