TBEIC Gets $245K Grant for Shared Resource Lab

WARREN, Ohio – A $245,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission has been awarded  to the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center here. The grant will be used to match funds provided by the state of Ohio to build out the technical capabilities in TBEIC’s shared resources center.

TBEIC, which opened in 2014, provides support for early stage companies in various aspects of the energy industry.

“The Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center is an engine for economic growth for our community, state, and when considering the innovations they’re helping to usher in, the country as a whole,” U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, said, in  announcing the grant.

Ryan pledged to fight for continued ARC Funding. President Trump’s first budget outline proposed to eliminate funding for the commission, an economic development agency of the federal government that funds projects in 420 counties across the Appalachian region.

The ARC grant will unlock matching funds from the state of Ohio and permit TBEC to build out TBEIC’s shared resource lab, which is “a key part of our business strategy,” said John Pogue, TBEIC board president.

“The testing and certification lab will be a significant attraction piece to the TBEIC program and will enable us to enter the next phase of our energy incubation program. The lab will be a regional testing facility that will lead to the attraction of entrepreneurs and businesses to the city of Warren and the Mahoning Valley,” Pogue continued.

Technical focal points of the center include a grid-connectivity and simulation lab, as well as an intelligent device lab, where IoT (Internet of Things) devices can be tested and certified per emerging industry standards in a grid-connected environment. The center will also be used to help local industry make decisions regarding investment in new energy-saving technologies through technical demonstrations and testing.

“This investment will enable the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center to guide small energy companies through their critical start-up phases,” said Earl Gohl, ARC co-chairman. “Institutional start-up and incubation support like this is critical to help firms across Ohio and the rest of Appalachia be successful and sustainable.”

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.