Raimondo Opens Innovation Voucher Grant Application Period

NEWS

Press Conference

RI Businesses with Fewer Than 500 Employees May Apply for Second Round of $50,000 Grants to Enable Innovation Through R&D
gina-oct-4-a1
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Gina M. Raimondo opened the second round of the state’s
Innovation Voucher Program today, soliciting applications from Rhode Island companies with fewer than 500
employees
to apply for grants of up to $50,000 to fund research and development (R&D).
«The Innovation Voucher Program enables 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 Voucher applications received by October 28, 2016, will be reviewed for
funding. Applications received after that date will be reviewed contingent upon
available funding. Approximately $1.5 million in funding is available this fiscal
year.
The Innovation Voucher Program was introduced in 2015 by Raimondo and the Rhode
Island Commerce Corporation in partnership with the General Assembly. In its second
funding period, the grant offer will again be extended to Rhode Island businesses
that are seeking to stimulate innovation that will move them to the next level.
«Innovation is key to the success of Rhode Island’s economy, and with tools like
the Innovation Voucher Program, we’re poised to promote business innovation vigorously
and effectively,» said Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. «Our Innovation Voucher
Program is helping businesses – small and large – unlock their R&D potential and
access the resources they need to succeed. Through this initiative program, we’re
giving Rhode Island a competitive edge that will help us grow and attract business.»
Innovation Vouchers can be used for:
gina-oct-4-a2
* 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, the corporation received
over $1.4 million in requests from 34 applicants for $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.
«The Innovation Voucher grant accelerated development of a crucial component of
our product,» said Jeanine Sinanan-Singh of Vitae Industries, which partnered with
Brown University. «It gave us unique access to the best possible resources in the
field for this type of work. We would be hard-pressed to find a better option.»
Rhode Island also offers Industry Cluster Grants to get companies in an industry
sector to work together to solve problems, exchange ideas and develop talent. Grants
of $75,000 to $250,000 are available to fund planning and organization building
for the cluster, and grants of $100,000 to $500,000 are available to implement programs
that strengthen the cluster in areas like R&D, tech transfer, workforce development
or marketing.
Furthermore, the state’s Innovation Network Matching Grants offer technical assistance,
space on flexible terms and/or access to capital to Rhode Island small businesses
in key industries (e.g., life sciences, healthcare, food and agriculture, clean
technology, energy efficiency, cyber security and others as designated). Grants
of up to $500,000 are available.
Download an application for the Innovation Voucher (and all other incentives offered
by the Commerce Corporation), as well as learn more about the requirements for
eligibility
and program details by visiting the Commerce website here About the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation
The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation is the full-service, official, economic
development
organization for the state of Rhode Island. A quasi-public agency, the corporation
serves as a government and community resource to help streamline the business expansion
in, and relocation to, Rhode Island. The agency assists companies with commercial
real estate, business financing, workforce training and other relevant issues. For
more information, visit: www.visitrhodeisland.com
and www.commerceri.com