By Associated Press - Wednesday, December 9, 2020

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (AP) - A Rhode Island-based technology innovation nonprofit is expected to receive $1 million in tax credits and an extra $500,000 in funding to create a research and development lab and workspace for the textiles, composites and undersea defense industries in Portsmouth.

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation Investment Committee voted on Dec. 4 to approve a recommendation to grant the nonprofit 401 Tech Bridge the tax credits and funding, the Newport Daily News reported Monday.

The economic development nonprofit was launched last year by the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation, Polaris Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Composites Alliance of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Textiles Innovation Network and the Office of Naval Research.

The committee said it wanted to encourage the building of the research center and estimated that the funding and tax credits represent 19% of the funds the project requires, the newspaper reported.

The group plans to use $6.6 million to build the center in the former Hodges Badge Company manufacturing facility space for the center. In addition to the financing from the committee, Polaris received a $2.3 million federal grant in August for the creation of an Advanced Materials and Technology Center in Portsmouth, the newspaper reported.

Christian Cowan, chief operating officer of the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation, told the newspaper that a large portion of the funds will be used for equipment and infrastructure such as a ventilation system, lab equipment and a water tank for naval research.

Cowan said that the group expects that projects coming out of the center to create manufacturing jobs and start-up companies in Rhode Island.

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