Tech Valley Center of Gravity Awarded FuzeHub Manufacturing Innovation Fund Grant

TROY, N.Y. -- The historic Quackenbush Building in downtown Troy is a place where the next great idea is in the works.

"It's a place where creative people can come together to build products, artwork, words, all types of creative endeavors," said Tech Valley Center of Gravity President Thomas Tongue.

The Center of Gravity is home to at least 31 different start-up companies. Recently, the non-profit received help from another, in the form of $75,000.

"It's really to help those small and medium businesses have a tools and a resource to get out of the 'Valley of Death,' if you will, to get them to the next step," said FuzeHub Executive Director Elena Garuc.

FuzeHub, which helps manufacturing companies around the state connect to resources and spur development, launched the Jeffrey Lawrence Manufacturing Innovation Fund -- grants which will help small and medium sized businesses grow.

"Every dollar that a manufacturer spends and every job that's hired in manufacturing adds up to five jobs in the local economy and other services," FuzeHub Industry Engagement Manager Amber Mooney said.

Lawrence, who passed away in 2015, was a top executive at the Center for Economic Growth and a champion for New York manufacturing and entrepreneurial communities. The Center of Gravity was one of the first recipients, and plans to build a rapid prototyping center, the only of its kind in the region. The center will allow entrepreneurs to create products on site, but more importantly much faster.

"We work with a lot of companies now that are outsourcing this process out of state, and they have to wait a week for their prototype to come back or two weeks or a month. What we're trying to do is cut that from weeks and months all the way down from hours or days," Tongue said.

The Watervliet Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership was also awarded a $75,000 grant to expand manufacturing capacity and capability for Extreme Molding, a private contract manufacture on the Arsenal.

FuzeHub said the goal of the grants is to have an impact long after the money is awarded.

"We want to be funding projects that are really going to have an impact on our daily lives, and what that project is or what that product is, we don't know yet. I think that's the most exciting part of it," Mooney said.

"This new equipment is going to help us unlock that capability and really allow us to help make a huge difference for start-ups," Tongue added.

FuzeHub is currently accepting applications for the next round of grants. Rules and applications can be found HERE.

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