Award to boost Rhode Island jobs
Posted on May 6, 2017
An award is being given to local companies that will boost Rhode Island jobs.
Six Rhode Island companies have been selected to receive Innovation Vouchers intended to stimulate innovation, facilitate in-state partnerships and give Rhode Island a competitive edge that will help the state grow and attract business. “Our Innovation Grants give startups the spark they need to turn their ideas into businesses,” Raimondo said. “Our state is on the move. In part because of our entrepreneurs and small businesses, our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since 2001. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks Rhode Island as the second-best state in America for innovation and entrepreneurship. We’ve added nearly 15,000 jobs since I was elected and businesses of all sizes are taking a fresh look at Rhode Island.”
Innovation Vouchers allow eligible Rhode Island enterprises with fewer than 500 employees to fund R&D assistance from a Rhode Island university, research center or medical center on a specific project.
This is the fifth round of grants to be awarded since Gov. Raimondo and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation in partnership with the General Assembly introduced the Innovation Voucher Program in 2015. This brings the total amount of voucher recipients to 34.
The projects approved in the latest round represent a variety of industry sectors important to the state, including health care, life sciences, textile manufacturing, naval research, and defense.
“This program is designed to help spur innovation and foster breakthroughs, and these grant recipients are well on their way to doing just that,” said Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. “This access to R&D capital will undoubtedly help these entrepreneurs and small businesses take great steps forward, and may just be the crucial spark in a game-changing discovery.”
Innovation Vouchers can be used for: support toward commercializing a new product, process or service; access to scientific, engineering and design expertise that fits an innovation need; technological development and exploration to make an innovation come to life; and/or scale-to-market development of an innovative idea.
The innovation projects being funded by the grants include: • Sproutel, Inc. of Providence will receive $50,000 and will partner with Brown University to assess the effectives of Jerry the Bear platform and a new prototype for delivering healthcare information to children. Jerry the Bear is an interactive toy for children with type 1 diabetes that helps them learn about their medical procedures and treatment through play.