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CDFI awards $5 billion in New Markets Tax Credits

The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund of the U.S. Department of Treasury awarded 100 community development entities (CDEs) $5 billion in New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) earlier this month. The purpose of this tax credit program is to stimulate investment and create jobs in low-income urban and rural communities that would benefit from economic revitalization — especially amid the financial hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

EPSCoR stakeholder community invited to comment on future direction

The Committee on the Future of NSF EPSCoR (NSF's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) requests input from the broad EPSCoR stakeholder community on EPSCoR’s investment strategies and opportunities for increased success. The committee was convened as part of a year-long visioning activity to guide the program. The visioning process will help determine the effectiveness of EPSCoR’s current investment strategies, as well as help consider novel strategies or changes to the current strategies that would enable NSF EPSCoR and its jurisdictional partners achieve its mission more effectively.

DOC seeking NACIE applicants

The U.S. Department of Commerce is seeking applicants for the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE). NACIE advises the U.S. Secretary of Commerce on matters related to accelerating innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing the commercialization of research and development, promoting workforce development, and other related matters. NACIE is managed by the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Members will be selected based on their ability to advise the secretary on matters relating to the acceleration of innovation and the support for and expansion of entrepreneurship, and will serve for two years. 

Defense department launches Centers of Excellence at 2 HBCUs

The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), through the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)), announced awards totaling $15 million for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to establish Centers of Excellence (COEs) in Biotechnology and Materials Science. The COEs will provide training to underrepresented students pursuing science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, and will also provide internships at defense laboratories while also offering training to K-12 students to strengthen the talent pool entering the STEM pipeline.

DOE seeks input on creation of new Clean Energy Manufacturing Institute

The U.S. Department of Energy announced a request for information (RFI) to help inform the creation of a new Clean Energy Manufacturing Institute focused on industrial decarbonization. Released by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the RFI seeks input from stakeholders in identifying key opportunities to decarbonize energy-intensive sectors across America’s economy through public-private collaboration.

House outlines multi-billion-dollar investment in science, innovation (updated)

Editor’s note, Sept. 16: This article has been updated to include additional science- and innovation-related funding proposals announced as the House continues its work on the reconciliation bill.

Committees have marked up their drafts for the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill, and the proposals include multiple, significant investments that could strengthen regional innovation economies. This article identifies more than $85 billion in potential innovation-focused spending without including much of the legislation’s potential R&D investments. Among the latest items are an additional $4 billion for Regional Technology Hubs and a manufacturing-focused $1 billion for the State Small Business Credit Initiative. These add to the previously-announced $5 billion for Regional Technology Hubs, nearly $3 billion to support incubators and accelerators, and dramatic increases in tuition support for higher education. Further action is required in the House and Senate before final funding is approved.

Biden administration releases R&D priorities memo for FY 2023 budget

The Executive Office of the President released its first research and development memo at the end of August for fiscal year 2023. The memo is intended to provide instructions to agencies about the administration's priorities for R&D spending and activities, which should then be reflected in budget requests and agency activities. It highlights the research and development goals of the Biden administration in areas such as pandemic readiness, climate change mitigation, emerging technology, national security, public trust in STEM, and diversity and equity.