Raimondo to Announce Innovation Voucher Grant Application Opening Period

RI Businesses with Fewer Than 500 Employees May Again Apply for $50,000 Grants to Enable Innovation Through R&D

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Gina M. Raimondo will join the Rhode Island Commerce
Corporation on Tuesday to open the state’s second round of Innovation Voucher Program applications.
The program – which allows Rhode Island companies with fewer than 500 employees
to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to fund research and development (R&D) assistance
from a Rhode Island university, research center, medical center or other entity
– was introduced in 2015 by Raimondo in partnership with the Rhode Island General
Assembly. In the program’s second funding period, the grant offer will again be
extended to Rhode Island businesses that are seeking the next level of innovation.
«The Innovation Voucher Program allows us to support and incentivize the important
research and development work being done in Rhode Island,» Raimondo said. «Our state
is rapidly emerging as a top hub of innovation and this program will help us keep
the momentum going. These grants were oversubscribed last year – with nearly three
times more demand than supply – and we’re looking forward to great turnout again
this round.»
Innovation Vouchers can be used for:

* Support toward commercializing a new product, process or service;
* Access to scientific, engineering and design expertise that fits an innovation
need;
* Technological development and exploration to make an innovation come to life;
* Scale-to-market development of an innovative idea.
In the initial Innovation Voucher call for applications, which ended in January
2016, the corporation received over $1.4 million in requests from 34 applicants
for only $500,000 in funding. The approved projects represent a variety of industry
sectors important to the state, including aquaculture, defense, advanced manufacturing,
biomedical engineering and technology, pharmaceuticals and green industries. The
grants have enabled each company to partner with a local university, research center
or medical center for R&D assistance with a specific project. Because of high demand
in the first year of applications, funding has been tripled to $1.5 million for
this second round.Innovation Voucher Program applications