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TBED Priorities Outlined in Nevada Plan

February 08, 2012

In response to an economic development study calling on the state to diversify its operating system, support regionalism and invest in innovation, Nevada's newly established Governor's Office of Economic Development (GOED) released a plan of action to align resources and establish partnerships for meeting those goals over the next three years. The statewide plan builds on legislation passed last session to unify economic development efforts through a regional approach and private sector engagement. To this end, lawmakers allocated funds for GOED and the governor appointed an executive director, elevating the position to cabinet-level. During the first half of 2012, GOED will work to establish its organizational structure and designate Regional Development Authorities (RDAs) tasked with developing plans for their regions. RDAs can be local government organizations, private organizations, or a combination of the two. The RDAs will serve as the central point of contact for economic development within the regions focusing their efforts on creation and retention of new businesses, expansion of existing companies, and attracting companies from outside the state. The plan outlines programs and projects the RDAs are expected to engage in, which include: Driving sector and cluster advancement to create jobs; Working with community colleges and state agencies to meet workforce needs; Cooperating with research institutions to increase innovation and technology transfer; Fostering regional incubation of startups; and, Increasing exports and foreign direct investments. The $10 million Catalyst Fund approved last year will allocate grants and loans during the next 18 months in the form of to help businesses create, expand or relocate in Nevada, according to the plan. The Nevada plan also prioritizes technology-based economic development (TBED) through a statewide innovation and commercialization strategy, increased collaboration with universities and research institutions, and efforts to build an entrepreneurial support structure. The state immediately will hire a technology commercialization director to identify existing R&D capacities and develop a formal TBED plan with help from the research institutions to be completed by September 2012. Benchmarks include increasing licensing of intellectual property, number of startups and research funding. During 2012, GOED will allocate initial funding for some TBED initiatives while developing a strategy for generating private and public support for the Knowledge Fund, created last year to spur research and commercialization (see the July 20, 2011 issue of the Digest). Initial investments include matching funds for industry-sponsored research; matching funds to assist the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization in winning a federal Economic Development Administration Grant; and, helping small businesses win SBIR/STTR grants. The plan also calls for working with industry to develop sector acceleration plans, expanding global engagement, and increasing opportunities through education and workforce development. Moving Nevada Forward: A Plan for Excellence in Economic Development 2012-2014 is available at: http://www.diversifynevada.com/documents/state_plan/2012_NVGOED_StatePla....

Nevada