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$38 million Build to Scale program open for applications

This week, the U.S. Economic Development Administration announced that the Build to Scale program has opened for applications. The Build to Scale program provides operating funding for tech-based economic development initiatives in regional economies. This program has long been a top priority for SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council, and we are happy that our continued success in raising the program’s appropriation means this year’s funding opportunity will award $38 million in grants.

$2M in STEM Challenge Grants awarded

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has announced the seven recipients of the inaugural STEM Talent Challenge, awarding a total of $2 million in grants through the inaugural STEM Talent Challenge, which aims to boost local science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent. Three SSTI members were among the seven winners: Ohio University received a $295,643 grant in the digital manufacturing sector; University City Science Center won a $246,179 grant in biotechnology/cell and gene therapy; and, the University of Michigan won $300,000 in grant money in the advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity sector. More information on all of the recipients is available here. The funding opportunity kicked off in August 2020 to further build STEM workforce readiness and spur innovation.

Federal budget continues growth for innovation initiatives

The final FY 2021 budget provides $1.4 trillion in total federal funding, including increases in some programs affecting the innovation economy. Among SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council priorities: EDA’s Build to Scale received an appropriation of $38 million, SBA’s Regional Innovation Clusters received $6 million, and SBA’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) program received $4 million. These are just a few of the federally-funded initiatives that support regional innovation economies and a wide range of federal R&D activities.

EDA awards $35 million for 52 Build-to-Scale projects

This week, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced the 2020 Build-to-Scale awards. In this round, nearly $35 million was awarded to 52 organizations to support regional strategies advancing entrepreneurship and innovation. Through the end of 2019, funded organizations had worked with more than 6,200 startups, facilitating $1.6 billion in investment and the launch of more than 9,000 products, according to EDA. SSTI has been a proponent of the Build-to-Scale program, which had not received any federal appropriations prior to the creation of SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council.

EDA makes $2 million available for STEM talent

The Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) released a funding opportunity this morning for a new STEM Talent Challenge. The opportunity provides $2 million in total to governmental and nonprofit entities working to implement STEM apprenticeship models in their regions. Applicants may request up to $300,000 for an 18-24-month project, and no more than $50,000 may go toward planning and development, which should generally be completed within the first six months of the project period. EDA is seeking projects that will expand work-based learning for adults, increase regional innovation capacity, and expand diversity in STEM. OIE will host an informational webinar on Sept. 9, and proposals are due Oct. 14.

Funding from Defense, EDA available

In separate announcements this week, the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA) and the Economic Development Administration (EDA) revealed funding opportunities that can assist efforts to transform American innovations and support the growth of new companies.

SSTI hosting EDA to discuss CARES funding – including forthcoming innovation opportunity

Join us for a special SSTI webinar on June 9th, when U.S. Economic Development Administration representatives will share information regarding $1.5 billion in economic development grants available for coronavirus response and recovery efforts at the local, state and regional levels. The EDA team also will discuss the pending innovation and entrepreneurship challenge component of the funding. Join us to learn more about qualifying for grants, which types of project support/assistance will be funded, how to apply, and more. There will be time for Q&A at the end of the presentation.

Bipartisan legislation would provide $110 billion for R&D, regional innovation

A bipartisan, bicameral group of legislators have introduced bills that would make a five-year commitment to increase America’s investment in R&D by $100 billion, while also investing $10 billion in regional technology hubs. Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Todd Young (R-IN) and Representatives Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI) introduced the Endless Frontiers Act, which articulates both investments.

Commerce announces availability of $1.5 billion in CARES Act funds to aid communities impacted by coronavirus

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is now accepting applications from eligible grantees for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) supplemental funds (EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance) intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. EDA will make the recovery assistance grants under the  under the authority of its Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which is intended to be flexible and responsive to the economic development needs and priorities of local and regional stakeholders.

Congress passes $2 trillion emergency aid package

The third package of emergency assistance related to COVID-19 is currently making its way through Congress, having passed the Senate last night and being expected to pass the House tomorrow. The legislation includes additional emergency loans and tax credits for retaining employees, as well as near-term aid for individuals, small businesses, and some of the most affected industries. While relatively little assistance is directly relevant to science- and innovation-related business development, many broader small business provisions can still be of assistance to these companies.

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