Gov. Wolf Proposes $2.35 Million In Funding For Invent Penn State As Part Of Innovation-Focused Budget Proposal
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is proposing to provide $2.35 million in funding to Invent Penn State as part of a large spending initiative focused on technology and innovation programs. The initiative, which would be part of the 2020-21 state budget, would total $12.35 million and support education, workforce development, and economic development.
The proposed funding was initially requested in Penn State’s 2020-21 budget proposal and still requires approval from the Pennsylvania General Assembly as part of the commonwealth’s forthcoming budget package.
“We need to do something to help Pennsylvania help itself before we lose any more ground to our competitor states in an area where we absolutely should be a leader,” he said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“We can not afford to fall behind. There are so many things Pennsylvania has done and we need to recapture that innovative pioneering spirit…We’ve lost the mojo that we had once and this is how we get it back.”
Invent Penn State would be one of four organizations to receive the funding as part of the initiative, along with the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, the Industrial Resource Centers, and the PREP network.
In a statement, the university said the funding funding would enable Penn State to expand its entrepreneurship programming and pilot four new innovation hubs in underserved areas of the state. Currently, there are 21 innovations around the Commonwealth in areas where Penn State campuses are located. Together, they support more than 2,500 entrepreneurs.
“Penn State is grateful to Governor 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,” University President Eric Barron said in a release. “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.”
If the proposal is approved, it’d be another monumental feat for Invent Penn State, which received $2 million in funding from PNC and the university two years ago. Its State College division is also awaiting construction of its new 85,000-square-foot building on Burrowes Street.
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As THON weekend approaches, a fundraising year like no other in THON history wraps up.
“Whether this team is a No. 3 seed or or a No. 4 seed, they’re going to have a real opportunity to be in the Sweet Sixteen. If you’re a Penn State basketball fan, that’s like the Final Four. That week of hype and attention gives a team a brand.”
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