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Budget Summary FY2018

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Outside Section 37
Data Current as of:  12/6/2017

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Innovation Voucher Program

SECTION 37.   Chapter 75 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 45B the following section:-

Section 45C. (a) There shall be established and set up on the books of the commonwealth an Innovation Voucher Program Fund into which shall be credited any appropriations designated by the general court to be credited to the fund and any monies generated for the fund through corporations or nonprofit entities. The fund shall be administered by the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency established in chapter 23G, which shall make expenditures from the fund without further appropriation to provide for an investment through a voucher program to small corporations and startup companies for cost sharing use of core facilities at the University of Massachusetts to be administered by the agency. The agency shall issue regulations to establish guidelines and eligibility criteria for participating companies. Vouchers shall provide the cost of hourly or daily use or per unit rate of the core facilities. The vouchers shall be used to advance the goals of job growth creation, innovation and economic development which may include, but shall not be limited to: the construction of prototypes, testing, and market research. The Agency's regulations shall include eligibility requirements for participating companies; provided, however, that: (i) eligible companies with the full time equivalent of not more than 10 employees may receive a voucher that covers up to 75 per cent of the cost of the rate; (ii) eligible companies with the full time equivalent of 11 to 50 employees may receive a voucher for not more than 50 per cent of the cost of the rate; and (iii) companies with 51 or more employees shall not be eligible for the voucher program. Vouchers shall not exceed more than 75 per cent of the total cost of the hourly or daily use, or per unit rate, of core facilities and shall not exceed $75,000 per year for each individual company. The regulations shall lay out a process by which the University of Massachusetts campuses shall seek quarterly reimbursements from the agency for the vouchers. For the purposes of this section "core facilities" shall be research based hardware and software that are available at a daily or hourly rate or per unit rate for use by partners of the University of Massachusetts.

(b) The Massachusetts Development Finance Agency shall annually file a report with the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on higher education and with the clerks of the house of representatives and senate detailing the vouchers awarded under this section not later than March 1.