Warren incubator back on track

WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — For the past four years, local, state and federal officials have been touting a new incubator coming to Warren.

However, not much progress has been made since Valley Congressman Tim Ryan secured $2.2 million in federal funding for the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center in 2010.

Work has begun on a conference room inside the center, but the former department store on Courthouse Square has sat mostly empty and idle since it was purchased in June 2011.

Dave Nestic, chief executive of regional operations for the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center, said the harsh winter weather and administrative change-ups at the U.S. Department of Energy, where the bulk of funding for the incubator is coming, have delayed the project. The incubator was supposed to open last summer.

Despite those issues, the TBEIC has been working with 30 to 40 start-up companies over the past several years. They are currently working on providing temporary space in Trumbull County to house them, but eventually they would move into the space on Courthouse Square.

The incubator also recently received money from the state.

“That will give us $250,000 to start purchasing specialized equipment for companies that want to do testing for new products for the energy industry,” Nestic said.

Nestic said they hope to open by the end of this year.

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