Harkins, Merski: Gannon, Penn State Behrend students’ research projects to share in $2.3 million in grant funding

ERIE, April 8 – Research projects from student teams at Gannon University and Penn State Behrend were among 36 projects selected statewide to share in grant funding totaling $2.3 million, state Reps. Pat Harkins and Bob Merski, both D-Erie, announced today.

The lawmakers said the grants – administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development under the Manufacturing PA Initiative – were awarded to projects statewide that will help advance innovation in manufacturing sectors including 3D printing, waste sustainability, autonomous navigation, and several other areas.

“I work closely with Gannon University President Keith Taylor, and I am constantly amazed and inspired by the talented minds Gannon, Penn State Behrend, and our region’s other universities attract,” Harkins said. “Innovation starts right here, at the local level, with ideas from young, bright minds. With support from area businesses and other partners, those ideas grow into plans and applications, and then into real-world manufacturing advances.

“We are so proud of our brilliant young students, and also thankful to the local business community partners who partner with our schools to make this kind of innovation happen.”

Merski said: “I want to congratulate the Penn State Behrend and Gannon University students who were involved in these projects, which show so much initiative and innovation. Efforts like these not only inspire future students, but also signal to new tech industries that Erie has the kind of talented and tech-savvy workforce pool they need to compete.”

The approved projects are part of Manufacturing PA’s fellowship program, which partners graduate and undergraduate students with local manufacturers to embark on research projects to develop new technologies.

More information about the specific grants is available here, and more about the program is available here.