Robotics / Startups

Apps are open for Robotics Factory’s yearlong Scale Residency

The federal grant-funded program from Innovation Works is designed to help the founders of young companies take their robotics technologies through the commercialization process.

RIDC's Tech Forge building, home to Robotics Factory. (Courtesy photo by Desmone Architects)

Robotics entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh, here’s another resource for you.

Innovation Works’ Robotics Factory is now accepting applications for its new, yearlong Scale Residency. The program is designed to help the founders of young companies take their robotics technologies through the commercialization process. Participants can expect to be led through “expert-guided design, prototyping, testing and manufacturing.”

Robotics Factory is funded through the $62.7 million Build Back Better Regional Challenge federal grant awarded to the Southwestern Pennsylvania New Economy Collaborative in September 2022. The Scale Residency lives under the umbrella of the Robotics Factory’s Create, Accelerate and Scale programs designed to help robotics entrepreneurs become self-sufficient in the industry.

Longtime local tech leader Kevin Dowling joined Innovation Works to head Robotics Factory programming in June. Pittsburgh Robotics Network will bring additional support. PRN’s interim executive director, Jenn Apicella, said the program is expected to help participants stand out among their peers in the field.

“As commercial adoption of automation technologies continues to rise across industries, robotics companies have an increased need to design with manufacturing in mind,” she said in a written statement. “This valuable program will help companies prepare for increased production and position them to meet the demands of the market.”

To test the waters, the announcement said, Robotics Factory — which recently moved into RIDC’s Tech Forge building in Robotics Row — will only work with four companies for its pilot year.

Apps for this first cohort close Oct. 6.

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell is a 2022-2023 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
Companies: Pittsburgh Robotics Network / Innovation Works (Pittsburgh)

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