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Recent EDA grants support innovation – inspiration for other regions

November 16, 2017

Grant programs administered by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) under the Public Works and Economic Development Act (PWEDA) increasingly support projects to help distressed regions across the country to become more competitive in a science and technology-intensive global economy. The examples below of projects receiving federal PWEDA funds in just the past two months may help inspire similar innovation initiatives in other parts of the country.

Cluster Feasibility Studies

  • $875,000 to the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, to support market and industry research and analysis in support of the development of a regional Aerospace and Defense cluster with an emphasis on advanced manufacturing. Project work activities include examination of attracting business firms and activity to the March Joint Powers Authority locations, assessment of economic opportunities at general aviation airports, and completion of a market analysis of the unmanned aerial systems.
  • $778,352 to the Ohio Aerospace Institute and the Milwaukee Development Corporation to fund a feasibility study to identify and assess current economic development assets within the Cleveland and Milwaukee areas, to forge new and stronger connections between technological commercialization, entrepreneurial business development, and manufacturing networks. Completion of the project will support the growth of high-technology clusters and creation of high-wage jobs in non-traditional manufacturing sectors.
  • $140,333 to the Milwaukee Development Corporation, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to fund the development of impact and needs assessments to capitalize on a growing consumer electronics manufacturing sector. Once completed, this study will help establish goals and priorities for the area to provide guidance on how to better diversify and strengthen the local economy, which will lead to new workforce opportunities and creation of jobs throughout the region.
  • $80,000 to the Utah Advanced Material Manufacturing Initiative, Kaysville, Utah, to fund the National Reach of Advanced Composites Manufacturing: A Prime Opportunity for US Manufacturing Leadership study that will identify, prioritize, and develop an executable strategy for the key technical and economic development issues necessary to expand employment in Utah’s advanced carbon composites (ACC) manufacturing industry and supply chain. Once completed, this study will bring together the public and private sectors in the creation of an economic development roadmap.
  • $73,463 to Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, to support its Center for Community and Economic Development (CCED) and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership with funding for the Mid-Michigan Particle Accelerator Cluster study, which will focus on the following areas: knowledge supply chain network, national innovative practice, accelerator component supply chain, and regional assessment.
  • $40,765 to the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, Haverhill, Massachusetts, to fund the Lawrence Textile Innovation Center feasibility study in Lawrence. The study will investigate the appropriate industry related businesses with a focus on smart textiles to develop a sustainable innovation center that would generate jobs and provide support for the next generation of textile manufacturing.

Construction/Renovation Grants

  • $3 million to Delaware Innovation Space, Inc., Wilmington, Delaware, to fund the renovation of an existing building to create a science incubator and multi-tenant collaboration space. The new and improved facility will provide a cost-effective space for start-ups, research laboratories and meeting rooms. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 657 jobs and leverage $80 million in private investment.
  • $2.5 million to the Cumberland County Improvement Authority, Millville, New Jersey, to assist in the construction of a new Food Industry Commercialization Center that provides needed flexible spaces for new food production companies to leverage technical assistance resources. The new multi-tenant facility will offer spaces for industrial food processing, shipping and administrative use. Completion of the project will provide regional capacity to grow and retain the food production cluster. The grantee estimates that this investment will help create 190 jobs and leverage $1.5 million in private investment.
  • $1,987,512 to St. Joseph’s College, Standish, Maine, to fund the construction of a barn, classroom and entrepreneurial space, biomass heating plant and related facilities to establish the Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation. When completed, the new center will help bolster the food production-to-consumption value chain in southern Maine, encourage and support food-business entrepreneurship and innovation, and restore farming and food-related manufacturing throughout the region. The grantee estimates that this investment will create 88 jobs and leverage $2.5 million in private investment.
  • $1,253,230 to the Lawrence Technological University and the City of Southfield, Michigan, to support the Lawrence Technical University and its strategic partners with construction of the Lawrence Tech Business and Technology Accelerator. The accelerator will integrate the university’s technical resources into the region’s manufacturing base to support the growth of second stage businesses in southeast Michigan. The grantees estimate that this investment will create 33 jobs, save 20 jobs, and leverage $4.4 million in private investment.
  • $1.01 million to Innovate ABQ, Inc., Albuquerque, New Mexico, to fund the renovation of an existing building to establish the Innovate ABQ bioscience business incubator that will house labs with corresponding office space in Albuquerque. The grantee estimates that this investment will create 155 jobs, save 80 jobs, and leverage $2.5 million in private investment.
eda, clusters, innovation