The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s Board of Directors has approved the investment of $252,500 in support of regional economic development.
Among the businesses receiving funding was Terra Health Coaching, which is a developing a solution for employers, physicians, and individuals who want to minimize the risk of chronic disease and its associated costs while optimizing health and environmental impact.
It has received $100,000 to complete the buildout of the company’s mobile app, release a desktop version that meets HIPAA compliance standards, and support marketing to Direct Primary Care clinics.
BRD Noise and Vibration Control Inc. of Wind Gap received a 1:1 matching grant of $25,000 to work with Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research to develop and implement project management tools, templates, and metrics to improve productivity and efficiency, and enhance customer service and on-time delivery. BRD Noise and Vibration Control specializes in HVAC acoustic design and manufacturing.
Cast-Rite Metal Co. of Birdsboro received a 1:1 matching grant of $25,000 to work with Northampton Community College’s Emerging Technology Applications Center to conduct an energy assessment of Cast Rite Metal Foundry to reduce energy costs and reduce the environmental footprint.
Dynalene Inc. of Whitehall Township received a 1:1 matching grant to work with Lehigh University’s Center for Supply Chain Research to improve manufacturing processes in the production of de-ionizing filter cartridges, which are used in fuel cells in automobiles.
Lehigh University is one of 17 colleges in the state to receive grants totaling $2.3 million through the Manufacturing PA initiative, Gov. Tom Wolf said today.
The initiative is funding 36 student research projects that will help advance innovation in several sectors of manufacturing, from 3D printing to waste sustainability, to autonomous navigation and more, Wolf said.
Lehigh University is working with Dynalene Inc. to develop economical chloride blends that are minimally corrosive to stainless steel alloys for renewable energy applications, said Animesh Kundu, principal research scientist in Lehigh’s Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.
The chloride salt blends are identified to be optimal for next generation concentrated solar power plants (Generation 3) but cannot be deployed in applications because of their extreme corrosive behavior towards most metals and metallic alloys including the common materials of construction in solar power plants, he said.
The research team has developed an additive package for appropriate chloride salt blends that are minimally corrosive towards stainless steel alloys, he said. The chemicals in the additive package react with stainless steel in presence the chloride salt blends at high temperatures forming a ceramic oxide coating on the stainless-steel surface exposed to the molten chloride salts.
“Pennsylvania’s manufacturing industry has seen continued growth and innovation, and I am amazed at the work these students and companies do,” Wolf said. “My administration continues to be committed to providing funding to students involved in this important industry. I am proud to fund these 36 projects and look forward to seeing what they create.”
The approved projects are part of Manufacturing PA’s fellowship program. The program embeds the commonwealth’s best and brightest graduate and undergraduate students with local manufacturers, Wolf said.
Once paired, the students embark on research projects to develop new technologies and advance innovation statewide.
Universities that have partnered with a manufacturer can apply for and receive between $25,000 and $70,000 in funding for specific student research projects.
In addition to Millersville, the 36 projects awarded grants are involved in partnerships with local manufacturing companies and the following Pennsylvania colleges:
Carnegie Mellon University
Pennsylvania State University – Behrend
Pennsylvania State University – Berks
Pennsylvania State University – Harrisburg
Pennsylvania State University
Robert Morris University
Thomas Jefferson University
University of Pittsburgh
York College of Pennsylvania.
Neil Weaver, acting secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) joined Rick Lucas, chief technology officer of ExOne, and others in Harrisburg to celebrate these grants today.
The fellowship was developed through collaboration with Pennsylvania’s seven research institutions, manufacturers, and industrial resource centers (IRCs) across the commonwealth and is administered by DCED and Carnegie Mellon University.
Since its inception in 2018, the fellowship has granted $9.8 million to 409 students across the commonwealth. About 117 companies located across the commonwealth have benefited from the partnerships this fellowship has provided.
Wolf’s Manufacturing PA initiative ensures that training leads not simply to any job, but to careers that provide higher pay and opportunities for advancement.
Working with DCED’s strategic partners, including IRCs, Pennsylvania’s colleges, universities, technical schools, and non-profit organizations, this initiative fosters collaboration and partnerships to accelerate technology advancement, encourage innovation and commercialization, and build a 21st century workforce, the governor’s office said.
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