By Julia Mericle – Reporter, Pittsburgh Business Times
Jan 24, 2020, 2:16pm EST
Governor Tom Wolf announced the proposed 2020-21 General Fund budget Friday, and its includes increased funding for innovation and startups, according to a news release.
The budget includes a $5 million increase to the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, which provides funding to organizations across the state, including Pittsburgh’s Innovation Works.
“A strong community and entrepreneurial network are crucial for success,” Wolf said in a prepared statement. “This holds true for startups, as well as established businesses. I’m proposing a strategic statewide innovation investment plan that will help get us on the right track to making Pennsylvania an innovation leader.”
The proposed budget also includes a $2.5 million increase for Industrial Resource Centers, a $2.5 million increase for the PREP Network and a $2.35 million increase for Invent Penn State.
Wolf said, in the release, that the budget aims to encourage the creation of new companies, launch a statewide annual innovation report, build out development and innovation centers in rural areas and increase collaboration between early stage companies and institutes of higher learning.
“Smart investments in innovation drive economic growth and ensure Pennsylvania continues to capture its share of emerging high-tech developments,” Ben Franklin’s Director of Statewide Initiatives Ryan Glenn, said in a prepared statement. “In the nation’s highly competitive high-tech economy, every dollar matters.”