Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council (STAC)

Making Innovation Central to Rhode Island's Future Gina M. Raimondo, Governor

Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, City of Providence Announce $150,000 in Grant Funding

Published on March 24, 2010

Left to right: Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline, IPIC Co-Chairs Bill Hatfield and Constance Howes, and Dr. Peter Snyder of Lifespan

RI Research Alliance Collaborative Grant Awardee Receives Chamber Funding to Continue Work

The Innovation Providence Implementation Council (IPIC), the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and the City of Providence awarded $150,000 in grants to nine projects that have been identified as promising economic opportunities in growing the local Knowledge Economy. Dr. Joseph J. "Trey" Crisco, a 2007 RIRA Collaborative Grant Awardee, received funding in support of his project, Toy Technology for Rehabilitation. GPCC funding will enable Crisco and his team to continue his work to create, test and ultimately manufacture rehabilitation toys for children with cerebral palsy and other upper extremity impairments.

The grants were given in the areas of: workforce development, health care, entrepreneurship and design. Six of the projects will be funded through $100,000 in United States Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (US EDA) grant monies, which were applied for through the Greater Providence Chamber Foundation, a non-profit affiliate of the Greater Chamber of Commerce. The remaining three projects, totaling $50,000, will be funded by the Providence Economic Development Partnership.

"Today, we are once again investing in the ideas that will drive our economy in the coming weeks, months and years," said Bill Hatfield, market president, Bank of America, Rhode Island and chairman of the Chamber board of directors. "This funding, which comes at a critical time, will undoubtedly enable our community to move forward in identifying opportunities for growth that take advantage of Rhode Island‚??s world-class business, entrepreneurial, health care and academic institutions."

"Today‚??s grant recipients exemplify the incredible innovation and talent we have in Providence," said Mayor David N. Cicilline. "Strengthening our knowledge-based economy is central to our efforts to create good-paying jobs and position the Creative Capital to compete in the 21-century global economy."

The Knowledge Economy Grants were chosen from 19 proposals totaling more than $400,000 in requests that were submitted to The Innovation Providence Implementation Council (IPIC). Chaired by Constance Howes, president and CEO of Woman & Infants Hospital, the IPIC considered each proposal‚??s ability to fit within defined "targets of opportunity" as well as to show collaboration, potential for future job growth, measurable outcomes and evidence of matching funding when making its final selection.

"Many of today‚??s grant recipients are the direct result of the work that the Chamber, the city, and local institutions and foundations have done to identify areas of opportunity in the local economy," Howes said. "The IPIC was impressed with the depth and breadth of proposals we received and look forward to continue working with today‚??s recipients over the next several months to ensure their success."

The grant awards serve as one part of a larger Knowledge Economy Action Agenda, which is overseen by the IPIC. The IPIC Vice Chairs are Bill Hatfield, market president of Bank of America-Rhode Island and Richard Spies, executive vice president at Brown University.

Other grant awardees include:

  1. Ambulatory Clinical Research Center (ACRC)
    This center will serve as an economically self-sustaining academic and educational resource for the Lifespan hospital system, the Care New England hospital system, Brown University (Alpert Medical School), and the schools of pharmacy and nursing at the University of Rhode Island.
  2. Smart Vaccine Design for Entrepreneurs
    This healthcare startup business training will provide classroom and laboratory training, instructing new generations of researchers and entrepreneurs about the use of tools to accelerate vaccine development.
  3. RI Business Plan Competition
    The RI Business Plan Competition will provide resources through prizes in the form of cash and in-kind services to start-up and early stage companies throughout the state, similar to seed money and consulting advice that venture investor provides to early stage entrepreneurs.
  4. RI-CIE Entrepreneur Boot Camp
    RI-CIE will conduct an Entrepreneur Boot-camp Workshop for ten new ventures representing a range of opportunities within the knowledge economy segments.
  5. Socialspring: A Social Venture Incubator
    This Social Venture Incubator will be launched by Social Venture Partners Rhode Island (SVPRI), and will provide social entrepreneurs with a 12 week program to provide business expertise, mentorship and access to social investors.

The City of Providence will also provide $50,000 in funding to support 3 more projects: the Providence Foundation Design Accelerator Project, Tech Collective Workforce Portal, and the Aperion Institute Green Jobs Program.

More information can be found at projo.com.

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