October 25, 2016

Gerratana Announces Approval of Grant for New Britain’s Innovation Places Project

Grant to provide for development of plan to encourage entrepreneurship in New Britain

New Britain’s plans for jump-starting the local innovation economy will move forward as the result of a grant announced today by Senator Terry Gerratana (D-New Britain). The CTNext Program has awarded a $40,000 grant to establish a plan for the development of New Britain’s “Innovation Places.”

These Innovation Places will serve as communities where young entrepreneurs can begin a business in an affordable location with co-working opportunities and nearby assets needed for growth. Locations like these are being created around Connecticut as the result of a comprehensive law supported by Senator Gerratana to help Connecticut embrace the innovation economy.

“New Britain and the surrounding communities have all the ingredients necessary to build an ecosystem of innovation,” said Senator Gerratana. “All the 6th District town of New Britain, Berlin and Farmington have collaborated to develop a strategy for increasing innovation. These towns have the brilliant students and faculty at CCSU, a great business community, the proximity of the Jackson Laboratory, and accessibility to nearby communities with CTFastrak. By combining these assets and establishing “Innovation Places” in our city, we can generate new job growth, business startups, and a truly exciting economic future. This grant is an important first step toward expanding entrepreneurship and innovation in New Britain, and I will continue working to ensure that our city becomes a hub of innovation in Connecticut.”

Under this new economic development plan, Innovation Places will be concentrated areas where entrepreneurs and innovators have easy access to tech talent, support organizations and research institutions. These dense areas are intended to be highly walkable, transit-connected, and mixed-use in zoning to facilitate interactions among entrepreneurs and innovators across different organizations, and to be conducive to the creation of startup companies. This environment is intended to be attractive not only for entrepreneurs to work in, but also to live in and for recreation, to help the community retain the most in-demand workers.

This $40,000 grant will be used in the development of a strategic planning process to identify local conditions and build a master plan that identifies the resources and assets in each community (like a hospital, a university, a research firm, or a manufacturer) to create exciting new business opportunities. The program was designed to be publicly supported and privately led, with communities leveraging public funding to generate a larger amount of private investment and business growth.