§ 42-64.28-3. Programs established.
(a) The Rhode Island commerce corporation shall establish a voucher program and an innovation network program as provided under this chapter. The programs are subject to available appropriations and such other funding as may be dedicated to the programs.
(b) There is established an account in the name of the "innovation initiative fund" (the "fund") under the control of the commerce corporation to fund the programs.
(1) The fund shall consist of:
(i) Money appropriated in the state budget to the fund;
(ii) Money made available to the fund through federal grants, programs, or private contributions;
(iii) Application or other fees paid to the fund to process applications for awards under this chapter; and
(iv) Any other money made available to the fund.
(c) Voucher program. The commerce corporation is authorized to develop and implement an innovation voucher program to provide financing to small businesses to purchase research and development support or other forms of technical assistance and services from Rhode Island institutions of higher education and other providers and to fund research and development by and for small business manufacturers.
Innovation network program.
The commerce corporation is authorized to provide innovation grants to organizations, including nonprofit organizations, for-profit organizations, universities, and co-working space operators that offer technical assistance, space on flexible terms, and access to capital to businesses in advanced or targeted industries. The commerce corporation shall only issue grants under this subsection when those grants are matched by private-sector or nonprofit partners. The commerce corporation shall establish guidelines for appropriate matching criteria under this section, including necessary matching ratios.
(P.L. 2015, ch. 141, art. 19, § 11; P.L. 2017, ch. 302, art. 2, § 1.)