By PBN Staff

PROVIDENCE – The Innovation Providence Implementation Council on Thursday awarded $150,000 to nine individuals and organizations in the second round of grants made as part of the Knowledge Economy Initiative.

The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce’s nonprofit foundation and the City of Providence, which together oversee the council, announced the awards Wednesday at the University of Rhode Island’s Institute for Immunology and Informatics in Providence.

Six of the projects – or $100,000 – will be funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. The other $50,000 is from the Providence Economic Development Partnership, a nonprofit created by the city government.

“This funding, which comes at a critical time, will undoubtedly enable our community to move forward in identifying opportunities for growth that take advantage of Rhode Island’s world-class business, entrepreneurial, health care and academic institutions,” said William F. Hatfield, president of Bank of America’s Rhode Island operations and chairman of the Providence Chamber’s board of directors.

The nine Knowledge Economy Grants were chosen from 19 proposals totaling more than $400,000 in requests that were submitted to IPIC, which is chaired by Women & Infants Hospital President and CEO Constance Howes.

“The IPIC was impressed with the depth and breadth of proposals we received and look forward to continue working with today’s recipients over the next several months to ensure their success,” Howes said.

  • Ambulatory Clinical Research Center, Dr. Peter Snyder, Rhode Island Hospital ($20,000)
  • Vaccine-Design Training for Entrepreneurs, Dr. Denice Spero, University of Rhode Island ($20,000)
  • Toy Technology for Rehabilitation, Beth Therrien, Brown University ($20,000)
  • Change Accelerator, Kelly Ramirez, Social Venture Partners of Rhode Island ($20,000)
  • “Pipeline-RI” Work Force Portal Tool, Kathie Shields, Tech Collective ($20,000)
  • Design-Focused Accelerator, Frederick Butler, The Providence Foundation ($15,000)
  • Building The Green Economy, Mark Kravitz, Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living ($15,000)
  • Rhode Island Business Plan Competition ($10,000)
  • RI-CIE Entrepreneur Boot Camp, Brendan McNally, R.I. Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship ($10,000)

The Knowledge Economy initiative started in 2007 when a team of civic, academic and business leaders began developing a plan to strengthen and grow the region’s knowledge economy sectors – health care, technology, research and design, and alternative energy – by identifying, coordinating and supporting regional assets, competencies, and networks.

“Young entrepreneurs, college and university heads, business leaders, representatives from labor and government have all rallied behind a common economic development vision for our city and state that centers on knowledge creation and service delivery,” said Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. “It’s an amazing collaboration.”

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