PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo, joined by Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor, visited Agcore Technologies to highlight the importance of small businesses working alongside state universities on research and development projects to build a new economy in Rhode Island. This Cranston-based small business is collaborating with the University of Rhode Island to develop a commercial fish food product.
"In order to bring high-skill, high-wage jobs to Rhode Island, we need to foster innovation and support the growth of research and development partnerships," Raimondo said. "That's why my jobs plan calls for expanding our R&D programs to strengthen our innovation economy. Agcore and URI working together to develop new ideas and create jobs here in Rhode Island is a great example of how we will move our economy forward."
Agcore recently received a $50,000 Innovation Voucher from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. With the Innovation Voucher Program, Rhode Island small businesses can receive grants of up to $50,000 to fund R&D assistance from a university, research center, or medical center. Agcore also announced their expansion in Rhode Island. They plan to build an additional greenhouse, hire more employees and triple their capacity in the near future.
"Having access to the Innovation Voucher program means my staff is able to work with students from the University of Rhode Island on important research and development projects that could positively impact my bottom line," Agcore Technologies President Lawrence Dressler said. "Under Governor Raimondo's leadership, small businesses like mine have access to great tools - which make it easier for us to stay in RI and grow. My business will be expanding here - adding an additional greenhouse, more employees and tripling my company's capacity."
"We are pleased that companies like Agcore Technologies are using our Innovation Vouchers to build partnerships with universities and propel their R&D," Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor said. "Increasing innovation is a key way for us to advance our economy. With eleven Innovation Voucher recipients pursuing cutting-edge research with university partners, we are on our way."
"Innovation vouchers are helping small businesses work alongside state universities on research and development projects," Senator Erin Lynch Prata said. "Partnerships such as Agcore Technologies' collaboration with URI help small businesses to innovate, grow, and create jobs for Rhode Islanders."
"As the state's flagship research institution, the University of Rhode Island offers tremendous opportunities for the private sector to leverage our research and development expertise for the growth of their businesses," URI President Dr. David Dooley said. "The Innovation Voucher program has provided a critical resource for small businesses to tap URI's talent and engage in cutting edge research and development to contribute to the growth of the state's economy. The theme of URI's new Academic Strategic Plan is 'Innovation with Impact,' and the Voucher program is an excellent way for our students and faculty to apply their knowledge to solve the real world challenges businesses face when they want to develop an idea or commercialize a product."
The Innovation Voucher program was created and launched last year. It recently distributed almost $500,000 to 11 partnerships.
For more information on the Innovation Voucher, please visit the link below.