PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo, along with Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor, today launched three new innovation-focused incentive programs aimed at jumpstarting Rhode Island's economy. Applications for the Innovation Vouchers, Industry Cluster Grants and Innovation Network Matching Grants are now available online.
"We are pursuing an ambitious economic strategy that will put Rhode Island back in the game," said Raimondo. "With these new tools, we are joining a select group of pioneering states offering these creative options to businesses. Encouraging collaboration across our research institutions, enterprising companies, and state government will make sure we are moving ahead at full speed."
"These new incentive programs will help us grow Rhode Island's innovation economy," said Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. "Rhode Island is positioned to excel at R&D - driven by anchor institutions such as Brown, URI, RISD, Lifespan and Care New England. These initiatives will enable businesses to draw upon the intellectual resources and instrumentation available at these great institutions, leveraging them for purpose of innovation. In addition, these new programs will raise Rhode Island's profile as a world-class R&D hub, and the entire state economy will benefit as a result."
• Innovation Voucher program lets businesses unlock R&D capacity here. Rhode Island companies with fewer than 500 employees can receive grants of up to $50,000 to fund R&D assistance from a Rhode Island university, research center or medical center.
• Industry Cluster Grant program encourages 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.
• Innovation Network Matching Grant program offers technical assistance, space on flexible terms, and/or access to capital to Rhode Island small businesses in key industries (e.g. life sciences, health care, food and agriculture, clean technology, energy efficiency, cyber security, and others as designated).
These programs supplement the I-195 Redevelopment Fund, a $25-million fund to finance large-scale projects that have the potential to catalyze development in the I-195 district.
To learn more about these programs, visit the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation's website. Potential applicants for any of the new incentives are encouraged to contact the Commerce Corporation's Business Development team at (401) 278-9100 or email@example.com.