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Funding Cases

The following are example of State and Local Governments working together to fund new business start-ups.


Texas Secretary of State Announces Grant to Nanotechnology Company
$975,000 to Help Bring Micro Fuel Cell Technology to Brazoria County - For Immediate Release 10/3/2006

LAKE JACKSON, TX –Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams announced $975,000 Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) grant to The Carbon Nanotube Accelerator Project (CNAP), an operating division of Carbon Nanotechnologies, Inc. (CNI), at the Annual Meeting of The Economic Development Alliance for Brazoria County (The Alliance).

“The economic development of Texas is important to me and I am excited to announce a major grant to bring this important breakthrough technology to Brazoria County,” Williams said.

The grant, which required the approval of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House, will enable CNI to commercialize production of new fuel cell technology in Brazoria County. These micro fuel cells will be used to power the next generation of portable and wireless electronic devices.

The CNAP project will generate a significant benefit for the Gulf Coast region, by using the TETF grant as matching funds for a $975,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Advanced Technology Program.  More than $3.1 million in private and public sector investments have already been made in the technology, which was developed at Rice University by the late Professor Rick Smalley, to help bring it to market by early 2007.  Dr. Smalley, a 1996 Nobel Laureate, prior to his passing stated that “Single wall carbon-nanotubes will enable many new products and I believe that fuel cell development will be an early beneficiary of their powerful properties. Carbon nanotechnology should prove to be one of the great enablers in solving our country’s energy problems.” The TETF grant is expected top help leverage an additional $10 million in strategic investments for commercialization of the technology at a manufacturing facility planned for Brazoria County.

CNAP is partnering with Rice University, Benchmark Electronics, Motorola Labs and Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells in the development of micro-fuel cell electrodes enabled by single wall carbon nanotubes, which have the potential to double the power of fuel cells, making them a preferred solution for powering next-generation portable personal electronics and ushering in a new age of personal super computing.  According to T.J. Wainerdi, Director of CNAP, “Hand-held electronic devices are increasing in sophistication with their demands for electrical power seemingly rising exponentially.  Rechargeable battery technology is mature, and unlikely to satisfy this demand. Micro fuel cells have the potential to provide the power required, but this potential has not yet been realized. The CNAP project can deliver on the promise and contribute to the long-term success of the hydrogen economy, which is critically contingent upon increasing performance and durability, and decreasing the associated manufacturing costs of present-day proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. These capabilities will also be particularly important in fuel cells for distributed power generation and automotive applications.”

Economists anticipate that bringing the technology to market will add $4 billion to the gross state product within the next decade by ensuring that new spin-off companies that use the technology remain in Texas.

“Rick knew that Texas should lead the world in nanotechnology and energy.  Helping make molecular electronics happen was one of his top priorities.  At the end of his life, he was thrilled about this emerging technology grant, and the governor’s show of support for leading Texas in a direction that will prove to be profitable in many ways - locally and globally,” said Deborah Smalley. “He would have been proud of the team effort lead by T.J. Wainerdi. Professor Matteo Pasquali, the faculty at Rice and the executive team at CNI worked closely with the Economic Development Alliance for Brazoria County, the Gulf Coast Center of Innovation and Commercialization and the Governor’s emerging technology staff to make this grant a reality.”

Secretary Williams added that, “This grant serves as a tribute to the legacy of the late, Nobel Prize winning scientist. Rick Smalley was more than the genius who invented the ‘buckeyball’ and the ‘single wall carbon nanotube.’  He was a visionary who strove to use his technology to solve the great problems facing mankind. The CNAP project is just the smallest hint of the great possibilities to come. I also want to commend David Stedman and his staff who worked over eighteen months to shepherd this project to fruition. Thanks to the Alliance’s commitment to excellence, this region of Texas is in a prime position to increase its economic posture in the coming years,” Williams said. 

According to Secretary Williams, “The Emerging Technologies Grant program has three main areas of investment. First, it strives to increase research collaboration between public and private sector entities through new Regional Centers of Innovation and Commercialization where the seeds of an idea can take root in a university lab and eventually grow into a new product marketed by a new or expanding firm. Secondly, it provides research grants to match funds provided by both federal and private sponsors to help innovators acquire the capital they need to bring their idea to life. And finally, it provides funds to attract more top-notch research teams from around the nation that will help put Texas universities on the cutting edge of technology research and development,” Williams said. The CNAP grant was a matching grant.

Many states, including California, Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, are pumping billions of dollars into high-tech research and development and Texas could be left behind without the Emerging Technology Fund. Economic analysts estimate that over the next decade, emerging technologies will generate $3 trillion in revenue worldwide.


Shaw to add 2,900 La. jobs in nuclear deal

The Shaw Group Inc. said it will add 2,900 jobs in the next decade — 1,500 corporate jobs chiefly in Baton Rouge, 1,400 manufacturing jobs in Lake Charles — to create a nuclear manufacturing center in Louisiana.Lake Charles will see an initial $100 million investment in a Port of Lake Charles facility to make nuclear power components, while the state has secured an agreement from Shaw to keep its headquarters in Baton Rouge for at least 15 years, according to Stephen Moret, secretary of the state Department of Economic Development.State officials said at the Capitol this morning that it is one of the biggest economic deals in state history, one that’s much more valuable to Louisiana’s future than the lost ThyssenKrupp steel mill project that went to Alabama in 2007.Shaw will get $210 million in total incentives over a 10-year period while Louisiana will benefit from $724 million in additional taxes from the project at the state and local levels, Moret said.

On the job front, an economic impact study by LSU economist Dek Terrell calculates more than $1 billion in new wages created by the nuclear project in the next decade.

“I’m excited that two cities get a big victory out of this,” Moret said. “This will be one of the biggest projects announced in the U.S. this year in terms of total jobs.”

Among other states, Louisiana defeated North Carolina, where Shaw employs more than 1,000 at its Power Group divisional headquarters in Charlotte. The company also employs hundreds in Houston and could have chosen Texas.

Moret said the threat of other states stealing Shaw’s headquarters away from Baton Rouge has been a real one in recent years, more real than most people in Baton Rouge realize.

That makes securing the headquarters and growing Shaw corporate professional jobs from 2,000 now to 3,500 in the state by 2018 a huge win, Moret said. That payroll will add $101 million in new payroll to Shaw’s existing professional payroll of about $230 million a year in the state.

In Lake Charles, the 1,400 jobs will create an additional new payroll of $70 million there at a new joint venture of Shaw and Westinghouse Electric, the global nuclear reactor firm. Shaw bought 20 percent of Westinghouse in 2006 and is a partner in developing Westinghouse nuclear reactors that will be needed for an estimated three dozen new nuclear power plants in the works now in the United States.

Shaw and Westinghouse will own 50 percent each of the manufacturing center in Lake Charles, which also is expected to pick up work rebuilding reactors at existing nuclear sites.

Louisiana and Baton Rouge Area Chamber officials have worked formally on the project for 18 months, with seeds of a new nuclear manufacturing project going back several years to the introduction of a new permitting process that makes obtaining a nuclear construction and operating license easier, Moret said.

High energy prices and looming restrictions on greenhouse gases make nuclear energy’s potential much stronger, he said.