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Commerce announces $21 million in new Regional Innovation Strategies awards

At SSTI's 2018 Annual Conference this week, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced 40 awardees for $21 million in the latest round of the Regional Innovation Strategies program. The program which makes grants for the i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support, has now provided $78 million to 180 projects across 46 states, DC and Puerto Rico.

Congratulations to SSTI members: Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Excell Partners, Kansas State University, Launch New York, Launch Place, Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, New Jersey Innovation Institute, Research Foundation for SUNY, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, and VilCap on their awards.

Regional innovation funding and economic development investments highlighted in EDA report

Working with public and private-sector partners across the U.S., the EDA invested approximately $289.1 million in 815 locally-driven economic development projects in FY 2017, according to its most recent annual report. The report provides examples of the projects it funds in each state, to help show the breadth and diversity of the programs and projects it funds. It also provides an interactive map detailing the summary and case studies of investments for any given state or territory.

Four ways the White House reorganization plan could affect American innovation

The White House Office of Management and Budget released Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century, a plan for reorganizing federal agencies. On topics related to innovation, the wide-ranging plan would make changes to education, workforce, economic development, small business and more. Some of the suggestions could advance with administrative actions only, while many will require congressional support.

Senate committee would fund Regional Innovation at $25 million

The Senate Committee on Appropriations this morning advanced a funding bill that includes $25 million for Regional Innovation Strategies — $4 million more than the current funding round.

Regional Innovation Strategies FY 2018 funding now available

EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies program — which makes i6 challenge and seed fund support awards — has released its notice of funding opportunity for FY 2018. Applications are due August 29. SSTI hosted a free webinar featuring EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship on June 14.*

Congress poised to increase Regional Innovation funding

Both the House and Senate are beginning the appropriations process for FY 2019 this month, and early indicators suggest that EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies program could see an increase over its $21 million for FY 2018.

Final FY 2018 budget increases Regional Innovation, MEP, NSF

With final passage and signage pending at the time of publication, the federal budget for FY 2018 provides relatively strong support for innovation economies. The Regional Innovation Strategies program is funded at $21 million, MEP at $140 million and the National Science Foundation at $7.8 billion, increases for all organizations. Other notable innovation programs receiving at least level funding are SBA’s cluster and accelerator programs, DOE’s ARPA-E, NASA science and the National Institutes of Health.

Recent EDA grants support innovation – inspiration for other regions

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.

EDA invests $30 million to drive innovation, entrepreneurship in coal impacted communities

Through its  2017 Assistance to Coal Communities (ACC 2017) initiative, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced $30 million in funding to assist locally-driven efforts to communities and regions severely impacted by the declining use of coal through activities and programs that support economic diversification, job creation, capital investment, workforce development, and re-employment opportunities. In total, EDA will support 35 projects in 16 states.

EDA announces $17M in awards via RIS program

On September 20, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced $17 million in awards to the 2017 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program awards. SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council has worked with members to encourage Congress to support this program, which makes awards to support the creation and expansion of tech transformation networks (i6 Challenge) and early-stage seed capital funds (the Seed Fund Support). In total, EDA made 42 investments that leveraged over $22 million in private, state and local matching funds.

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