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The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced that applications are now open for an expanded version of the Innovation Voucher program. The program is intended to stimulate innovation, facilitate in-state partnerships, and give Rhode Island a competitive edge that will help the state grow and attract business. To date, 44 projects have been supported through this program. "Governor Raimondo aims to provide more support for smaller manufacturers in our state – support for activities such as R&D that will lead to new products and new jobs for Rhode Islanders," said Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. "This expansion of the Innovation Voucher program is another important step toward the fulfillment of the Governor's goal. We thank the Rhode Island Manufacturing Association for advocating this revision and for their partnership in promoting manufacturing in our state. We also thank the General Assembly for enacting this key change." "Today's advanced manufacturers utilize all kinds of innovative technology and research, and the Innovation Voucher program could create new avenues of invention and business growth," said Dave Chenevert, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Manufacturing Association. "We thank the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation for expanding this program to include our industry." 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 up to $50,000. Funded projects must be conducted in Rhode Island in partnership with a Rhode Island knowledge provider or at the recipient's manufacturing facility. The projects approved to date represent a variety of industry sectors important to the state, including medical devices, life sciences, pharmaceutical manufacturing, data analytics, defense, engineering and shipbuilding. 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. For more information about Innovation Vouchers, or to apply, visit http://commerceri.com/finance-business/taxes-incentives/innovation-vouchers. Past Innovation Voucher examples are: · Matunuck Oyster Farm, LLC of South Kingston received funding to partner with the University of Rhode Island. The goal of this project is to transfer state-of-the-art knowledge in shellfish aquaculture from the University of Rhode Island to Matunuck Oyster Farm, leading to the development of a hatchery able to produce a diversity of species, including oysters, bay scallops, and seaweeds. This will fill a gap in the local production of seafood by providing a new, reliable source for other RI farms through aquaculture and will diversify the line of seafood products served at Matunuck Oyster Bar that are locally produced. · Vitae Industries, Inc. of Providence is partnering with the Rhode Island Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine. Clinical expertise from Rhode Island Hospital will further work to deploy and commercialize an innovative robotic hardware platform that quickly and cost effectively produces individually tailored doses of pharmaceutical tablets. Ambien, a popular sleep drug, can cause serious side-effects in women whose options are limited to the commercially available 5 and 10 mg doses. This clinical study will demonstrate the patient medical benefits of taking individually tailored doses of zolpidem tartrate (brand name Ambien) produced using the company's robotic platform. ###
Three Additional R.I. Businesses Receive Innovation Vouchers to Support R&D Work PROVIDENCE (Oct. 30, 2017)—Gov. Gina Raimondo and the Board of Directors for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation tonight approved economic incentives to lure two companies from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. The board also voted to issue Innovation Vouchers to support the R&D work of three Rhode Island small businesses. "Today's news offers more proof that Rhode Island's economy is on the move," Raimondo said. "Every business that brings jobs here because of our Commerce programs creates an opportunity for Rhode Islanders. Businesses already creating jobs here need support through targeted programs like our Innovation Vouchers. These are strategies with successful track records in other states. We cannot stop working to strengthen our economy until every middle-class family has the security and stability they deserve." "The Qualified Jobs tax credit has now helped 20 companies land and expand in Rhode Island," said Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. "We have granted more than double this number in Innovation Vouchers – often to smaller companies that are aiming to grow. Rhode Island is on a roll – with both smaller and larger businesses contributing to the momentum and creating opportunities for Rhode Islanders." Xeros Inc. is the cleaning technology division of Xeros Technology Group, based in Sheffield, England. The company, which is moving to Rhode Island from Seekonk, Massachusetts, uses a patented technology to reduce consumption in water-intensive operations such as commercial laundries. The company is approved for incentives under the Qualified Jobs Incentive Act for an estimated $785,000 to create 25 jobs and has the potential to receive additional credits for creating up to 40 jobs. The business plans to move to an engineering facility at a location still to be determined. "The tools put in place by Governor Raimondo made our decision to relocate our Engineering facility to Rhode Island economically feasible for Xeros," said George Silvia, Vice President of Engineering. "We thank the team at the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and are excited about our growth and success in the Ocean State." Alliance Paper was approved for Qualified Job Tax Credits of an estimated $297,000 for moving its operation and 20 jobs from Fall River, Massachusetts, to Pawtucket. Alliance is a paper products manufacturer and could receive additional credits for creating up to 30 jobs. "Alliance Paper is very excited to relocate and join the Pawtucket community, and its great heritage in the American Industrial Revolution," said Jeff Jones, President of Alliance Paper Company. "This opportunity offers great growth potential, and without the financial incentives from the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, this move would not have been possible. I'd personally like to thank the Governor and the dedicated staff of the Commerce Corporation for bringing this to fruition." The Board also approved three Innovation Vouchers. The Innovation Voucher program is designed to help spur innovation in the local economy by funding up to $50,000 for research and development between small Rhode Island businesses and local knowledge partners—namely colleges, universities and hospitals. With these awards, there have now been 43 Innovation Voucher recipients. Modus Tech-Wear of Providence will receive $50,000 to partner with the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Rhode Island to develop a lightweight, rechargeable battery with improved longevity for use in smart wearable products. CBC will receive $48,106 to partner with the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rhode Island to continue an existing project on wind energy. The project will expand on a previous project that enabled the company to scale up its model unit of a power-generating wind turbine to a larger preproduction unit. Alcinous Pharmaceuticals will receive $50,000 to amass a large library of promising drug molecules that can be used in developing cancer therapies with superior efficacy and tolerability. They will be partnering with the University of Rhode Island's Department of Chemistry. ###
Governor Gina Raimondo and R.I. Officials Complete Cement Pouring on New Housing Development
PROVIDENCE – October 17, 2017 – Governor Gina Raimondo, Mayor Jorge Elorza, Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor and other leaders today completed the pouring of the last of the concrete that will support The Edge, a new ground-up housing development in downtown Providence. The Edge, located at 169 Canal Street in Providence, will create 202 residential units, primarily to be used for student housing. The unit mix will contain studios, one bedrooms, and two bedrooms. There will also be approximately 10,000 square feet of retail space. The project is not affiliated with one specific college or university. "Rhode Island is on the move, and today's concrete pouring for The Edge is just the latest evidence that our efforts are making a tangible difference," Governor Raimondo said. "When this project is done, we'll have hundreds of new apartments and shops anchoring this part of the city, connecting the East Side to the downtown. That means more construction jobs, permanent jobs, tax revenue and overall more economic activity in our capital city." The project was made possible through one of Governor Raimondo's economic development incentives, the Rebuild Rhode Island tax credit, which is managed by the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. The credit is approved for a maximum of $3,000,000 in tax credits and sales and use tax reimbursement of $1,000,000 for eligible construction and build out costs. Rebuild Rhode Island tax credits are not distributed until the building is awarded a certificate of occupancy. The credits also contain a provision that in certain cases, successful project developers will repay a portion of the credit back to the state. "The Rebuild Rhode Island tax credit has proven to be successful in unlocking development throughout the state," said Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. "This project is the latest in a string of new developments happening across Rhode Island, and is one of the reasons why the state has added construction jobs at a higher rate than anywhere else in the country." "We are seeing more construction in Providence than we have had in about a decade," said Mayor Jorge Elorza. "Our city is experiencing a resurgence as we are creating jobs and growing our economy. We welcome The Edge and look forward to even more groundbreakings in the months to come." "Vision Properties would like to acknowledge Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation's administration of the Rebuild Rhode Island incentive program, as well as the Elorza Administration and Providence City Council as being indispensable partners in bringing to reality this significant project in downtown Providence," said Rick Shaffer, President of Vision Properties. "Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to work with people like Rick who have the courage, drive, and creativity to take on game-changing projects like Edge College Hill," said Zachary G. Darrow, Esq., Chairman, DarrowEverett, LLP. "Thankfully, we have elected officials like Governor Raimondo, Mayor Elorza, and Council President Matos and organizations such as the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission that see the great value in welcoming pioneers such as Rick and Vision Properties to Rhode Island and collaborating to make this significant project's such as Edge College Hill a reality." The Edge site sits near another Rebuild Rhode Island project, the Commons at Providence Station, which will consist of 169 residential units. In total, Rhode Island Commerce Corporation projects have helped add more than 1,500 residential units to the state and spur more than $600 million in new development. ###

Press Releases

Applications Now Open for Program to Provide R&D Assistance The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced that applications are now open for an expanded version of the Innovation Voucher program. The program is intended to stimulate innovation, facilitate in-state partnerships, and give...
Pledging to advocate for strengthened support of small manufacturers, Governor Gina M. Raimondo visited Cranston-based Dean Machine today to outline her proposed Manufacturing Initiative. "In the past three years, we have worked to bring Rhode Island's manufacturing industry into the 21st...
PROVIDENCE (Oct. 30, 2017)—Gov. Gina Raimondo and the Board of Directors for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation tonight approved economic incentives to lure two companies from Massachusetts to Rhode Island. The board also voted to issue Innovation Vouchers to support the R&D work of three...

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