Innovation application period open; program expanded for manufacturers

PROVIDENCE – The application period for the Innovation Voucher program is now open, the R.I. Commerce Corp. announced Thursday.

Commerce also expanded the voucher program. Rhode Island manufacturers can now use the Innovation Voucher to fund an internal research and development project.

Innovation Vouchers allow eligible Rhode Island enterprises with fewer than 500 employees to fund research and development assistance from a Rhode Island university, research center or medical center on a specific project up to $50,000.

Funded projects must be conducted in Rhode Island in partnership with a Rhode Island knowledge provider, except the newly allowed manufacturer participants, which will not be required to work with a knowledge center.

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“Governor [Gina M.] Raimondo aims to provide more support for smaller manufacturers in our state – support for activities such as R&D that will lead to new products and new jobs for Rhode Islanders,” said Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor in a statement. “This expansion of the Innovation Voucher program is another important step toward the fulfillment of the governor’s goal. We thank the Rhode Island Manufacturing Association for advocating this revision and for their partnership in promoting manufacturing in our state. We also thank the General Assembly for enacting this key change.”

Chris Bergenheim is the PBN web editor.