Is your New York State manufacturing company looking for grants, funding, or financial incentives to develop a new product or expand capacity? It can be challenging to allocate funding for new initiatives, which is why New York State manufacturers are excited about the Manufacturing Innovation Grants that are available through the Jeff Lawrence Manufacturing Innovation Fund.
Managed by FuzeHub with funding from Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (NYSTAR), the Fund is designed to support activities that will spur technology development and commercialization across New York State. If you are a manufacturer working on an innovation project with a non-profit organization, here’s what you need to know about pursuing a Manufacturing Innovation Grant to help make that project more affordable.
1. The Grant Guidelines and FAQs Are Your Starting Point
Have you ever heard the saying, “Begin with the end in mind”? Stephen Covey popularized this phrase in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but you don’t need to read Chapter 2 of his book to understand that you can’t win if you don’t follow the rules. The rules for the next round of funding can be found when we announce that the funding period is open on the Innovation Fund Page. FuzeHub updates these guidelines just before the next round of funding to incorporate questions received from the previous round, so it’s likely that many of the questions you might have are addressed.
2. The Lead Applicant is a Non-Profit
New York State is home to a robust network of innovation assets that work with manufacturers to provide business growth solutions. From new product innovations to improving manufacturing processes and efficiency, there are many non-profit organizations that can help manufacturers. These non-profits include economic development organizations; Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers; colleges and universities, including Centers of Excellence (COE) and Centers for Advanced Technology (CAT); incubators; and many others. Manufacturers can realize great results by partnering with a non-profit innovation asset, and the Manufacturing Innovation Grants can be used to support those projects.
3. The Grants are for Manufacturing-Related Projects
The purpose of the Manufacturing Innovation Fund is to spur technology development and commercialization. The types of projects that are supported by the Fund’s Manufacturing Innovation Grants include: prototype development; proof-of-concept manufacturing; manufacturing-related equipment purchases; manufacturing scale-up; and market validation. Projects that will be seen as most competitive for the Manufacturing Innovation Grants are those that have a high economic impact (job creation, new sales, new investment, etc.) and/or those that involve innovative or new technologies.
4. Prior Winners Have Been Announced
Last December, FuzeHub announced the first round of grantees for the Manufacturing Innovation Grants. In the first round, awarded projects included two manufacturing scale-up projects, a proof-of-concept manufacturing project, and the establishment of a rapid prototyping center for startups. The list of awarded projects is on the FuzeHub website.
How and When Can Your Partnering Organization Apply?
Are these the only four things you’ll need to know in order to submit a grant application? Of course not. Applying for any type of grant takes time, but these $25,000 to $75,000 Manufacturing Innovation Grants are worth it for projects that help companies address critical innovation opportunities. FuzeHub offers these grants three to four times per year, please check the website for updated information.
Applicants are advised to familiarize themselves with the application questions, word limits, and criteria before beginning to develop a response. When it’s time to apply, the online application can be accessed from the main fund page.
This article and video features Tech Valley Center of Gravity, one of the first awardees of the Manufacturing Innovation Fund.
Source: Time Warner Cable News