DCED: New Federal Partnership Will Help Commercialize Groundbreaking Technology, Expand Research Capabilities

May 13, 2010

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new federal partnership will help commercialize emerging technologies and expand the commonwealth’s world-class research opportunities, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary George Cornelius said today.

“I am a strong proponent of technology-driven economic development because I know that up-and-coming technology companies, entrepreneurs and researchers are critical to Pennsylvania’s future,” Cornelius said. “This agreement will expand Pennsylvania’s research and intellectual property base and represents an important next step in our technology-based economic development agenda.”

The five-year Partnership Intermediary Agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service and the Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority was signed today at the ARS Eastern Regional Research Center in Wyndmoor, Montgomery County. Cornelius signed the agreement on behalf of the authority, which he chairs.

The Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority is one of the nation’s largest and most-replicated state technology-focused economic development initiatives. Its programs are managed by DCED and are a key component of its strategy and mission.

The authority is one of only nine economic development agencies nationwide chosen to partner with Agricultural Research Service as part of the agricultural technology innovation partnership program network.

The agreement will enhance the flow of Agricultural Research Service technologies to Pennsylvania’s small businesses, colleges and universities, and research institutions, helping to promote product development, commercialization, and economic development opportunities for Pennsylvania companies. It will also help Pennsylvania companies and researchers access Agricultural Research Service’s national network of more than 100 research labs, 2,000 scientists, and extensive intellectual property portfolio.

The Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority will be able to share ARS technology with its network of DCED partners, including the four Ben Franklin Technology Partners, three Life Sciences Greenhouses, Industrial Resource Centers, Keystone Innovation Zones, PA Department of Agriculture, and others. Agricultural Research Service targeted the authority and DCED as a partner due to DCED’s extensive network of partners and access to small businesses.

“We are excited that the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority is joining our network, bringing its long history of successes in technology-based economic development,” said Rick Brenner, Agricultural Research Service assistant administrator for technology transfer. “Through this partnership, Pennsylvania businesses can be created or expanded to address such challenges as food security, healthy eating for human nutrition, local and urban agriculture, and bio-energy.”

Cornelius said that Pennsylvania has been fortunate to have had leadership from Governor Rendell, previous governors, and a history of bipartisan legislative support for technology-based economic development efforts.

“Since the creation of the Ben Franklin Technology Partners more than 25 years ago, the commonwealth has developed a wide range of technology-based programs that continue to evolve and provide for an environment that encourages and nurtures innovation and private investment in the technology sector,” Cornelius said, “With this agreement, we are opening a new door of opportunity for Pennsylvania businesses, and keeping up the momentum that we have worked so hard to establish.”

For more information about the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, or other community and economic development programs, visit www.newpa.com or call 1-866-466-3972.

Media contact: Jamie Yates, 717-783-1132

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development

Source: newswire

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