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Rhode Island announces $12 million for Innovation Campus projects

December 20, 2018

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has announced the first three projects for the state’s Innovation Campus Program, an effort to support the commercialization of academic research in key industries such as cybersecurity, data analytics and agricultural technology. The centers, in partnership with the University of Rhode Island and located in Kingston and Providence, will receive a combined $12 million from the state. The funding stems from a $20 million innovation bond approved by the state’s voters in 2016.

The governor’s office stated that the next round of awardees for the remaining $8 million in bond proceeds would be announced in 2019. The first round project awardees are:

  • The University of Rhode Island and Arizona State University Innovation Hub in Providence will receive $5.5 million from the bond. Its focus will be on “education and workforce development; research into cybersecurity, big data analytics and visualizations and the IoT; commercialization and start up resources and initiatives; community outreach and citizen science initiatives; and platforms and facilities to support the hub's major efforts,” according to the governor’s office. The total project funding is expected to be more than $11 million.
  • The Rhode Island “iHub,” also in Providence, will receive $2.5 million from bond proceeds, with an expected total project cost of $8.7 million. iHub is a partnership between The University of Rhode Island, Brown University, IBM, and MassChallenge, and anticipates sponsoring joint-education events between the universities, offering proven accelerator programs from IBM and MassChallenge, and providing free physical space for early-stage startups.
  • The Rhode Island Agricultural Innovation & Entrepreneurship Campus in Kingston will receive $4 million from the innovation bond proceeds, though the expected total project cost is $115 million. The campus seeks to be an “epicenter for Agricultural innovation, entrepreneurism, internships, and education,” according to the governor’s office.  
Rhode Islandinnovation, research