Governor proposes $2.35 million in funding for Invent Penn State

Proposed funding to be considered by state legislature as part of state budget process this summer


Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has announced a proposal to provide $2.35 million in funding for Invent Penn State as part of a $12.35 million spending initiative focused on technology and innovation programs. If approved, the funding would enable Penn State to expand its entrepreneurship programming and pilot four new innovation hubs in underserved areas of the state.

The governor announced the proposed funding, which would be part of the 2020-21 state budget, at a news conference Jan. 24 in Pittsburgh. The proposed funding, initially requested in Penn State’s 2020-21 budget proposal, will require approval from the Pennsylvania General Assembly as part of the commonwealth’s forthcoming budget package.

“Penn State is grateful to Gov. Wolf for his strong leadership in support of technology and innovation programming that will help to grow jobs, provide new opportunities, and keep talented people and their bright ideas in Pennsylvania,” said Penn State President Eric Barron. “This proposal illustrates the potential benefits of public-private partnerships for the state’s economy, and is a great example of the University’s land-grant mission in action.

“While this is the first step in the commonwealth’s budget process, the University is thankful that the governor has signified his support for Invent Penn State and our efforts to help grow the state’s economy. We look forward to working with lawmakers in the months ahead to show how Invent Penn State and our innovation hubs are helping to spark entrepreneurial activity and economic revitalization in communities across Pennsylvania.”

The University has launched 21 innovation hubs since 2015 that are helping to drive innovation and economic growth in all communities where Penn State campuses reside, and supporting more than 2,500 entrepreneurs with early-stage startup businesses.

Each center is tailored to meet the needs of the community it serves and offers no-cost co-working space, business accelerator programs, legal and intellectual property advice, rapid prototyping resources and more to help startups and small businesses thrive. These services are offered in partnership with regional economic development authorities, chambers of commerce, Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners to develop customized support for entrepreneurs.

By leveraging the University’s size and broad research strengths, Invent Penn State is accelerating the transfer of new ideas into useful products and processes that encompass a broad range of fields, including energy, food security, environmental protection, health care, manufacturing, educational technologies, medical devices and pharmaceuticals — all designed to translate into new businesses in Pennsylvania.


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Megan Lakatos