Shapiro administration advances manufacturing innovation in Pennsylvania

Apr 9, 2024

Man welding in welding gear

Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger has announced that $3,050,357 in grants have been awarded through the Manufacturing PA initiative to 45 student research projects to help advance innovation in several sectors of manufacturing, from autonomous machining to clean energy to medical devices and more. Secretary Siger announced the awards at the sixth annual Manufacturing PA Innovation Program Expo, held recently in Harrisburg.

The approved projects are part of Manufacturing PA’s fellowship program, which embeds the Commonwealth’s best and brightest graduate and undergraduate students with local manufacturers. Once paired, the students embark on research projects to develop new technologies and advance innovation statewide. Universities that have partnered with a manufacturer can apply for and receive between $25,000 and $70,000 in funding for specific student research projects.

“The Shapiro Administration understands the importance of investing in cutting-edge research projects like these to generate continued economic growth and foster innovation in the Commonwealth,” said Secretary Siger. “Pennsylvania is home to some of the finest research institutions in the country, and I know the work of the students and projects funded here today will ensure we will remain a national leader in manufacturing and innovation.”

The 45 projects that received grants are involved in partnerships with local manufacturing companies and the following 15 Pennsylvania colleges and one Pennsylvania hospital:

  • Bucknell University
  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Drexel University
  • Gannon University
  • Lehigh University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Pennsylvania State University – Berks
  • Pennsylvania State University – Harrisburg
  • Robert Morris University
  • Thomas Jefferson University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Villanova University
  • Widener University
  • York College of Pennsylvania

The fellowship was developed through collaboration with Pennsylvania’s seven research institutions, manufacturers, and industrial resource centers (IRCs) across the Commonwealth and is administered by DCED and Carnegie Mellon University.

Since its inception in 2018, the fellowship has granted over $15.1 million to 602 students across the Commonwealth for 234 total projects, and 174 Pennsylvania companies have benefited from these partnerships.

Earlier this year, Governor Shapiro and Secretary Siger launched the Commonwealth’s first Economic Development Strategy in nearly two decades–building on the Shapiro Administration’s work to make Pennsylvania a leader in innovation and economic development and to create economic opportunity for all Pennsylvanians.

The Governor’s 2024-25 budget calls for significant investments directly tied back to this ten-year strategy and issues a strong call to action for partners across all sectors to join in with their support. The budget includes: $500 million in PA SITES funding to bring more commercial and industrial sites to Pennsylvania; $25 million for the Main Street Matters program to support small businesses and commercial corridors across the Commonwealth; $20 million to support large-scale innovation and leverage Pennsylvania’s best-in-class research and development assets; and $3.5 million to create and launch the Pennsylvania Regional Economic Competitiveness Challenge to incentivize regional growth.

You can read Pennsylvania’s first economic development strategy in 20 years. For more information on how the Governor’s proposed budget will create opportunity for all Pennsylvanians, visit Governor Josh Shapiro’s Budget website.

For more information about the Manufacturing PA Initiative or Department of Community and Economic Development, visit DCED website, and be sure to stay up-to-date with all of our agency news on FacebookX, and LinkedIn.

For media inquiries, please contact Penny Ickes at

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