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401 Tech Bridge


Kingston, RI

Project Name

Strengthening the RI Blue Tech Innovation

Award Amount

Federal Share

Local Match



The impact of the pandemic on the Rhode Island economy has been devastating. The state lost a record 98,100 jobs in March and April 2020 due to the pandemic, as the unemployment rate spiked to 18.1 percent.

By implementing the CEDS plan created in 2014, the state has created a robust innovation sector, particularly in advanced materials (composites, textiles and related technology) that the growing offshore wind cluster, undersea technology and the defense sector, including the Navy and its prime contractors, which collectively form the Blue Tech sector.

Expanding the Blue Tech sector in Rhode Island will reduce reliance on hospitality and tourism, creating an economy that is more resilient to shocks, and which provides jobs with wages that are higher than the state’s average.

401 Tech Bridge’s project, Strengthening the RI Blue Tech Innovation Pipeline, builds on existing collaborations between government, academia and industry partners to drive economic growth in the Blue Tech sector, and accelerate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, using a multi-prong approach:

  • Jumpstarting new companies in partnership with MassChallenge, creating a Blue Tech Accelerator and a fellowship program that excels at helping start-ups launch and grow.
  • Leveraging a partner network that includes the Naval X Tech Bridge initiative, the NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership National Network, government agencies and advanced materials industry groups to identify funding and connect companies to business opportunities in the Blue Tech sector.
  • Executing programs that bring startups to scale and strengthen the Blue Tech supply chain.

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Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE)

Build To Scale (B2S)
formerly Regional Innovation Strategies Program (RIS)

SPRINT Challenge

STEM Talent Challenge

Accelerate R2 Network Challenge

National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE)

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