(TNS) -- Penn State is one of the first of 26 recipients of a new entrepreneurship grant.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Penn State received a $500,000 i6/Cluster Grant for Seed Capital Funds to further develop the TechCelerator@StateCollege, “a pre-accelerator that is specifically designed to allow technologists who have not identified themselves as future business owners to explore entrepreneurship and commercialization pathways for technologies and arrive at educated go/no-go decisions.”

“As America’s ‘innovation agency,’ the Commerce Department has a key role to play in supporting the innovators and job creators of tomorrow,” Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker said.

“We want to ensure that all entrepreneurs have access to the tools they need to move their ideas and inventions from idea to market. The Regional Innovation Strategies Program competition is designed to advance this mission across the United States, strengthening our economy and our global competitiveness.”

The program anticipates $30 million in economic benefits and is expected to “catalyze a replicable, rural innovation strategy to foster an entrepreneurial culture and create economic growth along the way.”

Penn State has targeted an intersection of innovation and entrepreneurship under President Eric Barron. The i6 grants are competitive and aimed at high-impact project possibilities.

Other grant recipients include Cornell, Georgia Tech, Louisiana Tech and the University of Central Florida. Penn State was a recipient of one of the largest grants. Only eight programs received $500,000.

©2015 the Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC