Navigating the Landscape of Funding Sources for NYS Manufacturers

There’s no better time than the present to expand your company in New York with grants for manufacturers available through different parts of the year.  There are many grants, funds, and financial incentives available to New York manufacturers. While there is a great deal of competition for this funding, companies that do their homework and submit strong applications can better position themselves for success.

A business plan is an essential road map tool and includes developing the financial and economic impact projections that are a prerequisite for seeking funding sources like federal government manufacturing grants.

Learn more at:
US Small Business Administration – How to Write a Business Plan and NYS SBDC – A Practice Guide to Business Planning.

At FuzeHub, our team of matching specialists and our statewide network of resources can help you navigate the complex manufacturing funding landscape. Please submit a request to discuss your manufacturing funding and New York State small business grants needs with one of our matching specialists, for guidance in finding funding sources suited for your company.

Here is an abbreviated list of programs for funding your small business in New York that FuzeHub has found to be valuable:

NYS Manufacturing Funding and Grant Opportunities:

Type: Competition-based
Frequency: Bi-annually with additional competitions offered throughout the year
Manufacturing Sector: All
Award Amounts: Up to $50,000

Managed by FuzeHub with funding provided by Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR), the fund supports a set of activities designed to spur technology development and commercialization across New York State. Non-profit organizations in New York State, including non-profit institutions of higher education, are eligible to serve as lead applicants for Manufacturing Grants available through the Innovation Fund. Applicants must demonstrate industry partnerships through which the project will benefit companies, especially manufacturers or early stage companies with projects relevant to the manufacturing sector.

Type: Market opportunity-based; post-revenue, mid to late stage companies
Frequency: Open solicitation
Manufacturing Sector: Clean Energy
Award Amounts: Typically $1 million or greater, smaller deals possible

NY Green Bank is a state-sponsored investment fund dedicated to overcoming current obstacles in clean energy financing markets and increasing overall capital availability through various forms of financial support such as credit enhancement, project aggregation, and securitization. As the largest “green bank” in the nation, NY Green Bank is working with private sector project developers, financiers, energy service companies, and others to advance clean energy projects across the state. They offer structured wholesale financial products and solutions, and focus on investments using the same technologies that drive carbon reduction and other public benefits contemplated under New York State clean energy policies.

Type: Competitions, financing and other programs
Manufacturing Sector: Clean Energy
Award Amounts: Varies

With a 10-year, $5 billion funding commitment (Clean Energy Fund), NYSERDA is looking to invest $717  million over the next 10 years in early-stage technologies and companies through direct investments via grants and support of technology to market assets and resources (e.g. incubators, accelerators, proof-of-concept centers, etc.)

Type:  Grants, tax credits, technology grants and assistance
Manufacturing Sector: All, including non-manufacturing and small business grants
Award Amounts: Varies

Link to Empire State Development Small Business Pandemic Recovery Grant

Their goal is to help NYS businesses build back with funds that help small businesses reimagine, rebuild and renew. There is over $800 million in state funding for small businesses—and about rental assistance for tenants.  These are NYS grants for small businesses trying to recover from global pandemics such as COVID-19.  

Type: Competitions, financing and other programs
Manufacturing Sector: Clean Energy
Award Amounts: Varies

With a 10-year, $5 billion funding commitment (Clean Energy Fund), NYSERDA is looking to invest $717  million over the next 10 years in early-stage technologies and companies through direct investments via grants and support of technology to market assets and resources (e.g. incubators, accelerators, proof-of-concept centers, etc.)

The innovation Technology Commercialization Fund is an $8 million pool of capital focused on pre-seed stage companies across New York State. The Innovation TC Fund operates through a fund-of-funds structure to provide critical pre-seed funding to incentivize commercialization and new business formation, facilitating the transition of ideas and research into marketable products. Four investment entities were competitively selected to manage the fund’s activities. The Innovation TC Fund investment entities will make investments of up to $100,000 per eligible company, and all require at least a 1:1 match from private sector funding sources at the time of investment.

The investment entities and their respective targeted regions are listed below.

The Innovation Venture Capital Fund (the “Fund”) is a $100 million venture capital fund that invests in seed and early stage businesses throughout New York State. The Fund provides critical funding to promote the commercialization of new technologies, encourage job creation and drive economic growth.

Fund Highlights:

  • Focused on Series A investments, considers occasional and opportunistic seed rounds
  • Direct equity investments in companies in industries such as information technology, life sciences, clean energy, and advanced manufacturing
  • Initial investments typically range from $500k to $1.5 million
  • All investments by the Fund require at least a 2:1 match

Type: Loans and grants
Frequency: A few times a year

Manufacturing Sector: Financial Services, Food & Beverage, Advanced Manufacturing, Biotech & Life Sciences looking to expand globally
Award Amounts: Loans of up to $500K for equipment and working capital, grants of up to $25K

Global NY offers one stop shopping to both foreign businesses looking to invest in New York and to local businesses who want to export globally.

The Global NY Grant Fund is a $35 million fund that provides grants and loans to help New York State’s small and medium-sized businesses go global and create new jobs. The Global NY Fund Grant Program is open to New York State companies and non-profit organizations seeking to create or expand direct exports. All export grants are awarded on a reimbursable basis. Grants of up to $25,000 are provided to help companies start exporting or increase their global exports. Grants may be used for market customization, participation in trade shows/missions, export workshops and for product adaptations to meet foreign regulatory requirements. Grants of up to $50,000 are available to not-for-profit organizations that provide export assistance and trade education to New York State companies.

The Global NY Loan Fund is a partnership with participating lenders which provides export financing of up to $500,000 for each transaction, or an aggregate of $1,000,000, to eligible New York State small and mid-sized businesses.   Empire State Development (ESD) is also offering interest-free loans of up to $50,000 for Distilled and Fermented Beverage industry businesses to promote New York State’s thriving beverage industry on a global scale. Companies must apply to ESD for these loans.

Type: Grant funding
Manufacturing Sector: Materials engineering in any industry
Award Amounts: $5,000

Link to CCMR Jump Start program

Through collaborations with Cornell experts and with matching funds from New York State, the JumpStart program helps New York State small businesses solve identifiable problems related to materials. The award program provides: a semester-long project that utilizes Cornell University resources; up to $5,000 in matching NYSTAR funding; and an opportunity to build a relationship with university faculty and staff.

Type: Project cost sharing Manufacturing Sector: NY-based manufacturing companies Award Amounts: Projects typically under $50,000 The New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I) is a statewide research and technology transfer center funded by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), which is partnered with and located at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). NYSP2I supports New York manufacturers with funded technical engineering and lab resources. NYSP2I’s partners include Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), the University at Buffalo (UB) and the 11 statewide New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) centers. The university partners offer expansive technical expertise and facilities providing unparalleled capabilities in the fields of remanufacturing, polymer processing, toxics reduction, resource conservation, environmental engineering, biofuels testing, environmental management systems, and green chemistry. Expertise and facilities include the following:
  • On-site Technical Assistance for process evaluation, audit and improvement, pollution prevention strategies, and staff training. Assistance with technology transfer and scale-up, including pollution prevention opportunities, development of process and product designs, and training on equipment and systems. Programs are customized.
  • State of the Art Testing Facilities with 16 unique testbeds across its partner network. Testbeds offer demonstration facilities that allow for rigorous and replicable testing of technologies, theories, and tools including surface cleaning, printing, electronics manufacturing, process intensification, green supply chain management, polymer processing, toxicology, and biofuels testing to name a few.
  • Research, Development & Diffusion: R&D targets range from traditional industries such as printing, dry cleaning, and metal finishing to emerging areas such as nanotechnology and sustainable bio-based materials. Projects address product and process design, evaluation of alternative materials, studies of supply chains, and green chemistry approaches.
NYSP2I’s R&D Program focuses on applied research — research for near-term solutions to competitively reduce a company’s environmental footprint. R&D projects are conducted at NYSP2I’s four partner universities; researchers at these universities are eligible to apply and receive R&D grant funding each year to promote the development and ultimate implementation of sound, innovative technologies or processes that can reduce environmental impacts and overall costs in NYS. The Direct Assistance Program for Businesses deploys experts to work with your company to find productivity and efficiency gains. Their staff will work with you to gather relevant product or operational data and conduct on-site observations of processes and equipment. After identifying opportunities for improvement and/or savings, they can also perform detailed technical and economic feasibility analyses of the improvement options identified, and provide you with solid estimates around required investments, your expected payback period and anticipated environmental benefits. Anywhere from 50 to 90 percent of the cost of the assessment project is funded by NYS to help offset your costs associated with greening your operations. Typical projects will look at the following areas to help your company become stronger:
  • Toxic use reduction
  • Product design & material use, and lifecycle cost reduction
  • Water conservation and recycling
  • Deployment of new technology (i.e. Vacuum Cycle Nucleation)
  • Waste reduction
  • Energy use and renewables
Areas of technical expertise:
  • Manufacturing process studies, improving efficiency and reducing environmental “footprint” of a manufacturing process or facility
  • Independent product technology assessments, validation and effectiveness studies, accelerating new products to commercialization
  • Supply chain sustainability assessments, strategy, and implementation (i.e., ISO 14001)
  • Food waste reduction and pathway utilization

Type: Project cost sharing
Manufacturing Sector: NY-based manufacturing companies
Award Amounts: Project dependent

The Center of Excellence in Advanced and Sustainable Manufacturing (COE-ASM) works with manufacturers to unlock new business opportunities and competitive advantages through advanced technology deployment, product design innovation, and production process optimization. Funding is available for qualified technical assistance projects. COE-ASM is located at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology and is a New York State Center of Excellence (a NYSTAR partnership).  Cost share may be available from the COE-ASM for qualified projects with New York State companies. COE-ASM is also interested in working together on proposals to pursue funding for collaborative projects (for example, pursuing SBIR funding for small businesses).

Explore more information about the wide range of assistance available at similar sister Empire State Development centers including its 15 Centers for Advanced Technology (CATs) and 11 Centers of Excellence (COEs).

Type: Annual business competition, 10 to 15 start-ups will be selected for the program
Manufacturing Sector: Photonics
Award Amounts: $100,000 to $125,000

This business competition will support start-up companies that commercialize photonics technologies through a business accelerator program with a top award of $1 million to the most promising start-up company. Participants will go through a 4-6 month structured accelerator program where they will build products, access customers, refine their business models, and gain initial market traction. The program will provide workspace in the Rochester region, access to regional assets, resources, labs, etc., and connections to mentors and industry partners. The Challenge will be based at High Tech Rochester’s Business Accelerator in the Sibley Building.

Type: Competition-based accelerator program and funding for selected companies
Manufacturing Sector: Unmanned aerial hardware, software, analytics
Award Amounts: $250k – $1 million

GENIUS NY is an in-residence business accelerator program at The Tech Garden in central New York that goes beyond substantial direct investment. In addition to three grand prizes of up to $1 million, $600,000 and $400,000, the program also offers company stipends, housing, resources, programming, and connections, making it among the largest competitions of its kind across the globe. The program is made possible by $5 million in funding support provided by Empire State Development, New York State’s chief economic development agency.

Type: Competitively awarded grant funding and loans
Manufacturing Sector: NY-based manufacturing companies
Award Amount: Up to $25k grants for proof of concept; $75k – $150k convertible debt for later-stage projects beyond proof of concept

Grants for Growth (read summary) is a unique CenterState CEO seed program that supports innovative applied research projects between universities and industry to improve business competitiveness and create jobs.  Companies can apply for the award in one of two categories based on their growth stage:

  • $25,000 Proof-of-Concept grants for early-stage companies
  • $150,000 Concept-to-Marketplace investments for later-stage companies

Type: Grant funding
Manufacturing Sector: Defense
Award Amount: Up to $50k

Grants are available to small manufacturers, early-stage companies, and non-profits for projects in which companies will advance or adopt particular emerging defense industry manufacturing technologies, or projects through which defense industry suppliers will diversify their markets. Up to $700,000 is available to fund projects assisting established and early-stage defense industry companies with diversification, and to help mitigate commercial effects of fluctuations in federal defense spending. This funding was awarded to ESD through the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment in an effort to offset the costs of diversification assistance projects for established and early stage companies, and ensure the resilience of the New York State warfighting supply chain. Individual grants will not exceed 80% of total project cost up to a maximum grant of $50,000. The applicant cost share of at least 20% can be cash, in-kind, or a combination thereof.

Type: Project-based grant funding
Manufacturing Sector: Manufacturing and energy
Award Amounts: Varies between $2.5K and $40K

Through a unique grants program, WDI makes investments that lead to workforce development and economic growth. This program is an “interactive” one, where WDI regional staff work directly with a business, union, or other entity to understand the issue at hand, and then help develop a customized response.

Federal Funding and Grant Opportunities:

Type: 50/50 project cost sharing
Manufacturing Sector: Industry List
Award Amounts: Depends on project – up to $75k

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAA), a federal program, provides financial assistance to manufacturers affected by import competition. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, this cost sharing federal assistance program pays for half the cost of consultants or industry-specific experts for projects that improve a manufacturer’s competitiveness.

Type: Award-based
Manufacturing Sector: Small/early stage companies in advanced manufacturing, energy companies in Research and Development phases
Award Amounts: Phase 1 – $150K, Phase 2 – $1m over two years

This is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal Research / Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

Networks, Associations, and Entrepreneurial Support Resources:

The Upstate Capital Association of NY advances investments in companies throughout Upstate New York. They facilitate connections between capital providers, companies and transaction professionals across the state.

LaunchNY provides mentoring and funding for Upstate New York startups. It provide startups with vital guidance, connections to expert resources and the funding needed to demonstrate proof of concept of the products and processes that will be needed to go to market.

New York State Certified Business Incubators and Innovation Hot Spots – There are many business incubators around New York that have a wealth of resources to support entrepreneurial efforts.

For more information about potential funding opportunities and assistance explore FuzeHub’s reports on New York State Programs for Manufacturers and Federal Programs for Manufacturers.

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