funding

$5.4M in prizes to support inclusive entrepreneurship announced by SBA

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced a combined total of $5.4 million in awards to innovation-focused entrepreneur support organizations with programs to support entrepreneurs researching and developing STEM-related innovations. The 2021 competition included two prize tracks with 84 winners for the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC) and eight winners for the new SBIR Catalyst competition, which aims to spur investment in underrepresented communities within the innovation economy.  

Defense awards $25 million to manufacturing communities

The Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation revealed the awardees from its second round of the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program this week. The office awarded $5 million to each of five organizations to lead partnerships that will strengthen defense manufacturing and related supply chains. The five awards are listed below and available on the office’s website:

NSF establishes new I-Corps Hubs to advance National Innovation Network

NSF announced five new multi-institution I-Corps Hubs to deliver entrepreneurship training to academic researchers and scale the National Innovation Network. Each hub is funded at $3 million per year for five years and comprises a regional alliance of at least eight universities. The hubs are intended to offer a more integrated approach than the previous I-Corps Nodes and I-Corps Sites, which were funded separately. The new model will provide increase funding and enable scaling I-Corps across the country.

Congress begins work on $3.5 trillion human infrastructure, includes $45 billion for House science to allocate

Early on Wednesday, the Senate passed a budget resolution that will serve as the framework for a human infrastructure bill. The current proposal is for $3.5 trillion in spending. This legislation, should it pass, seems likely to include substantial funding for regional innovation. More specifically, the Senate’s plans indicate that funding would support Regional Technology Hubs and other components of the US Innovation and Competition Act (USICA). 

Some universities canceling student debt

In an unexpected turn of events, some college students around the country have been logging into their accounts to check on account balances and finding them canceled. Many institutions of higher education across the country have been taking advantage of federal assistance provided through the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief funds (HEERF) to cancel student debt. HEERF I, II and III represent three programs that Congress appropriated to higher education to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including emergency financial grants to students.

$60M investment from DOE to increase energy efficiency in manufacturing goes to 32 Industrial Assessment Centers

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $60 million in funding for its largest-ever cohort of university-based Industrial Assessment Centers (IACs) to assist small- and medium-sized manufacturers in reducing their carbon emissions and lowering energy costs.

DOE awards over $65M to commercialize promising energy technologies

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced over $30 million in federal funding, matched by over $35 million in private sector funds, for 68 projects that will accelerate the commercialization of promising energy technologies. The awards are expected to help transfer solutions from the National Labs to the marketplace and work toward the president’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

SBA launches more than $100M in new funding programs to support equitable and inclusive entrepreneurship

This week the Small Business Administration (SBA) released several funding opportunities to support and promote equitable and inclusive economic recovery for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The new Community Navigator Pilot Program will award $100 million to support regional “hub and spoke” networks in providing technical assistance, training, direct financial assistance, and other services to underserved small businesses.

JPMorgan Chase relaunches AdvancingCities Challenge with commitment to tackle economic disparities for Black women and Latinas

Recognizing the systemic barriers to economic opportunity faced by women of color, JPMorgan Chase (JPMC) has relaunched its AdvancingCities Challenge in 2021 with a new focus on directly supporting projects designed, led, and implemented by Black women and Latinas.

European Union to invest billions in innovation

As the most ambitious innovation initiative that Europe has ever undertaken, the European Union (EU) recently launched the European Innovation Council (EIC) with a €10 billion (about $11.7 billion USD) fund that will provide both non-dilutive grants to and direct equity investments in innovative startups within the union. After a successful three-year pilot, the EIC is merging with the current Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, and has already launched its first official program with a call for proposals worth €1.5 billion (approximately $1.8 billion USD).

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