Erie lawmakers announce nearly $70K investment for Gannon University

State awards funds for manufacturing innovation

HARRISBURG, April 10Gannon University has been approved for a state grant totaling $69,328 to advance manufacturing innovation, state lawmakers from Erie announced Wednesday.

“The new funding will allow Gannon students to team with local manufacturers on innovative projects that will yield new industry methods and techniques,” said state Rep. Pat Harkins, who represents portions of the city of Erie as well as Lake Erie and Lawrence Park townships. “It’s the kind of work that will shape progress in the region and keep Erie business and industry highly competitive – both here at home and globally. I’m excited to see what the future will bring, and I’m thankful to DCED and to our state and local partners who helped bring this funding home.”

The approved grant is part of the Manufacturing PA Initiative. This week, the state announced 45 grants for projects in partnership with manufacturing companies and one hospital. Gannon University is located in Harkins’ district.  

“This state grant is aimed at continuing innovation by pairing the best in our state’s education system with the best in PA manufacturing,” said Rep. Ryan Bizzarro, who represents Millcreek and Fairview townships. “The return on today’s investment will be seen not only in increasing collaboration throughout the state but also in advancing the work needed in various projects concerning autonomous machining, clean energy, medical devices and the aerospace industy.” 

The innovative grants approved this week included $69,328 for Gannon and Parker Lord for a novel 3D printing composite material for vibration elimination in aerospace.

The fellowship was developed through collaboration with Pennsylvania’s seven research institutions, manufacturers and industrial resource centers. It is administered through the Department of Community and Economic Development and Carnegie Mellon University.

“The meeting between industrious student minds and local manufacturers can give rise to exciting innovations,” Merski said. “We are so fortunate here in Erie to have a plentiful pool of both – some of the finest students in the state to bring fresh perspectives, and cutting-edge manufacturers poised to develop new, advanced methods and systems. I can’t wait to see how these dynamic partnerships are going to advance manufacturing in our region,” said Rep. Bob Merski, who represents portions of the city of Erie as well as Greene, Harborcreek, and Summit townships, and Wesleyville.

Since its creation in 2018, the fellowship has granted more than $15.1 million to 602 students spanning 235 projects undertaken with collaboration from 174 companies.