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Clarion University’s Barnes Center for Biotechnology Business Development hosted the Northwest Pennsylvania Innovation Support Program open house Feb. 21. 

Those who attended learned about the program, which focuses on facilitating economic stimulation within manufacturing, nanotechnology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical technology by empowering northwestern Pennsylvania small businesses and entrepreneurs with the tools for success, and toured Clarion University’s innovation laboratories, which showcased projects from functionality in prototype design to the latest work being done in nanotechnology. 

Speakers included: C. Alan Walker, secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development; Benjamin Legum, applied research specialist in the Center for Applied Research and Intellectual Property Development; Dr. Karen Whitney, president of Clarion University; Jamie Lefever, executive director of Clarion County Economic Development Corporation; and Dr. Kevin Roth, director of the Clarion University Small Business Development Center. 

The Northwest Pennsylvania Innovation Support Program was initiated thanks to a Developed and Discovered in Pennsylvania grant awarded to the Center for Applied Research and Intellectual Property Development by Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. CARIPD created the program through this grant and with help from partners at the Clarion University SBDC, Clarion County Economic Development Corporation and Ben Franklin Technology Partners.

Applicants of the program are eligible to receive up to $15,000 in micro-grants to support their product or service development needs. Program participants also have access to an all-encompassing, complementing array of services ranging from lab space and applied research support to market research, business plan development and exposure to long-term financing options.

“The idea is to take someone’s idea, help them turn it into a product or service, and then help them commercialize it into the marketplace, all within house,” Legum said.

The program will begin a schedule of road shows next month: April 16, DuBois; April 22, Meadville; and April 24, Bradford. All of the events are held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information on the road show locations, free registration, further program details, or instructions to apply to the program, visit

3/17/2014 11:45 AM

Barnes Center program empowers small business owners with tools for success