Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund History
The Fund was launched in December 2016 and is named for Jeff Lawrence, a champion of the New York manufacturing and entrepreneurial communities, who passed away in 2015.
During his more than 20 years at the Center for Economic Growth, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership affiliate in the Capital Region where he served as executive vice president, Jeff directed programs of direct assistance to manufacturers and technology companies to increase their competitiveness. He is remembered for being an invaluable and generous mentor to many in the area’s business community and a tireless advocate for manufacturing innovation throughout New York.
The Innovation Fund, consisting of $1 million annually for five years, supports a set of activities designed to spur technology development and commercialization across New York State. FuzeHub is administering this fund as part of its role as the Empire State Development (ESD) designated statewide Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) center.
Since launching in 2016, the Fund has awarded more than 4.5M dollars to over forty not-for-profit entities to assist in numerous high-tech projects throughout New York State, and over 100 companies have directly benefited from Innovation Fund program awards.