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Raimondo Administration, Commerce Corporation Board Approve 50th Innovation Voucher

Board awards 3 vouchers to R.I. Manufacturers to help fund R&D

PROVIDENCE, RI- Governor Gina M. Raimondo and the Board of Directors for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation tonight approved three Innovation Vouchers, bringing the total amount of Innovation Voucher recipients to 50.

All three award recipients are in the manufacturing industry, utilizing the program's recent expansion which allows Rhode Island manufacturers to conduct research and development internally. With these awards, there have now been 50 Innovation Voucher recipients, totaling an investment of $2.34 million.

"Rhode Island's economy is on the move and there are more Rhode Islanders working today than at any point in the last decade," said Gina Raimondo. "This program is one of many initiatives we have undertaken to change the national conversation about Rhode Island as we work to bring back jobs at every level."

"Across the state, 50 small businesses are making use of these vouchers in order to innovate and grow," said Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce Stefan Pryor. "We are pleased that three local manufacturers are leveraging this newly expanded program, and we look forward to their progress."

Bouckaert Industrial Textiles, based in Woonsocket, will receive $50,000 to improve upon their fiberglass mat used in energy pipeline insulation by developing superior thermal conductivity for the mat. Activities will include physical testing of weight, thickness, and tensile of the fiberglass mat. Bouckaert works closely with fellow R.I. manufacturer Aspen Aerogels.

East Providence-based Aspen Aerogels will receive $49,998 to utilize its state-of-the-art pilot manufacturing line, to trial the use of three different prototypes, seeking to achieve a rapid refinement to meet or exceed specification limits required by the production process.

NuLabel Technologies, also based in East Providence, will receive $50,000 to commercialize the design of a stand-alone, single chassis assembly, dual-mode print and apply system for commercial users of the company's proprietary Catalyst device. The basic product enables factories, distribution centers and eCommerce fulfillment sites to automatically print and apply variable data labels onto all forms of cardboard packaging without generating waste and greatly reducing label converting costs.

Manufacturing has been a point of emphasis for Governor Raimondo and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, working closely with the Rhode Island Manufacturers Association (RIMA). The industry is seen as a vital part of the state's identity and its future. In an effort to share more about the programs, funding sources and opportunities available to local manufacturers, Commerce and RIMA will be embarking on a series of visits to cities and towns throughout the state in the coming weeks, beginning with a manufacturing forum with the R.I. Leagues of Cities and Towns on May 8.

The Innovation Voucher program is designed to help spur innovation in the local economy by funding up to $50,000 for research and development. The program pairs small Rhode Island businesses with local knowledge partners like colleges, universities and hospitals. Manufacturers may also use vouchers for internal R&D.

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.

Other 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.

For more information about Innovation Vouchers or to apply, please visit: http://commerceri.com/finance-business/taxes-incentives/innovation-vouchers

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