Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pittsburgh Technology Council Launches Export Program To Help Local Tech Firms Increase Global Sales

With an ever-increasing number of Pennsylvania technology and manufacturing companies looking to grow in global markets, the Pittsburgh Technology Council has anounced that it will launch a new program to assist local technology companies increase their international sales.

Claudia Garcia
Called the Technology Export Initiative (TechExport), the initiative is funded through a $200,000, two-year contract from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) as part of a $1.7 million  grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

DCED selected the PTC to partner on TechExport to link clusters of technology companies to both state and federal export services. This initiative targets companies comprising the region’s key technology sectors like advanced manufacturing, IT, green energy and life sciences.

The unique business needs of technology firms, including various international trade barriers, differ significantly from those of traditional manufacturers. At the same time, it is often critically important for technology companies to enter the international arena in earliest stages of their lifecycle.

For these reasons, the Pittsburgh Technology Council, in a joint effort with the Pennsylvania’s Center for Trade Development (CTD), has created the TechExport Program to better serve Pennsylvania tech firms seeking international growth.

Over the next two years, the TechExport Initiative intends to work with at least 100 companies, said Claudia Garcia, TechExport Director.

TechExport will:
• Provide personalized export counseling assistance free of charge.
• Help companies access federal money under the Global Access Program, up to $5,000 in matching awards for qualifying companies to offset cost associated with international growth.
• Introduce companies to currently available export assistance.
• Link regional companies with the services offered by the 21 PA trade offices strategically located throughout the world.
• Set up an Expert Hotline to provide regulatory support about export compliance, international certifications and legal advice.
• Publish a bi-annual, statewide magazine to provide exporting information, success stories and market opportunities.
• Promote trade event development (trade missions and trade shows) and Organize education and training events.

Garcia said TechExport is open to any technology/manufacturing company across Pennsylvania, and services are free under the grant.

“I’m excited to learn about the needs of our companies,” said Garcia. One of the key challenges, according to Garcia, is the lack of companies understanding all of the resources available to help them export.

DCED has 21 offices around the world with resources on the ground ready to help Pennsylvania companies expand into those respective markets.

Pennsylvania companies exported $41 billion worth of goods last year, up 17 percent from the previous year. Top export categories include chemicals, machinery, metals, computers and electronics and transportation equipment. Get more information on the TechExport Initiative by contacting Claudia Garcia at 412-918-4202 or cgarcia@pghtech.org.



Source: Pittsburgh Technology Council

2 comments:

  1. Global Pittsburgh does an excellent job of promoting the Greater Pittsburgh Region to foreign international leaders and investors in our area. Help with the GAP grant is offered by the SW PA Commision and has helped several of my clients obtain this valuable grant.The service you speak of is already offered by the PA Southwestern Commission, US Commercial Service and International Trade offices of the SBDC. I agree a key concern is lack of knowledge of local exporting guidance and resources offered by the Federal and State government to help companies prosper in all markets. Is this additional funding going to help these valuable organizations market themselves to our area companies or is there something new that is not relayed in this article? This sounds like a mirror initiative. Hopefully the government is not straining already tight resources to fund another initiative for international trade here. I look forward to learning more about this new area for PTC and the possible benefits for my clients.

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