funding opportunity

CDFI Fund awards $180 million for finance, technical assistance

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund announced 265 financial and technical assistance awards totaling more than $180 million this week. Awardees in the FY 2021 round have headquarters in 43 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Financial assistance awards can be used by CDFIs to support additional loans and investments to businesses in underserved communities, while technical assistance awards can be used to build the CDFI’s own capacity.

EDA launches $2 million STEM Talent Challenge

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has launched the FY 2021 $2 million STEM Talent Challenge to support programs to train science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent and fuel regional innovation economies across the nation.

EDA makes $3 billion available for regional economies

Today, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced funding opportunities for the $3 billion Congress provided the agency in the American Rescue Plan Act. Funds are available through six distinct challenges, with separate goals and application processes/deadlines for each.

Federal prize competitions offer unique entrepreneurial opportunities to solve real problems

Combining the adages “necessity is the mother of invention” and “two heads are better than one,” the best innovations often arise by broadening the community of minds focused toward addressing a particular problem or need. The Obama Administration took the concept of funding open innovation competitions toward specific issues to heart, encouraging federal agencies to use prizes and challenges as much as practical. Going a step further, Congress enacted legislation in 2011 to make it easier for federal agencies to use the cost-effective tool and the practice was maintained during the four years of the Trump Administration. With early signs suggesting the incoming Biden administration will see a return of many key policymakers and themes from his Democratic predecessor, there may also be a renewed focus on using challenges and problem-solving prize competitions to spur innovation and prosperity coming out of the pandemic. A recent Department of Energy press release adds further weight to this hypothesis and provides a good opportunity for prospective grant seekers to begin to familiarize themselves with the concept in anticipation future federal funding rounds.

EDA announces $25 million funding opportunity for TBED through 2020 SPRINT Challenge

The Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) has announced $25 million for the Scaling Pandemic Resilience through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge utilizing funding from the CARES Act.

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.

Department of Defense

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.

NIH launches $1.5 billion “shark tank” to accelerate testing

The most recently-passed federal legislation to address COVID-19 included funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to accelerate testing. The provision, added by Sens.

Regional Innovation Strategies making $35 million available

The U.S. Economic Development Administration has announced the FY 2020 notice of funding availability for the Regional Innovation Strategies program. There are multiple changes to the program this year, including that EDA is now referring to the program as “Build to Scale.” A total of $35 million is available this year due to support from Congress with advocacy from SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council. The Trump Administration budget proposal for FY2020, and again for FY2021, proposed eliminating the program.

SBA funding available for accelerators, SBIR aid

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently released FY 2019 announcements for the Growth Accelerator Fund Competition and Federal and State Technology Partnership Program (FAST) funding. Accelerators emphasizing underserved entrepreneurs can submit a brief application and slide deck from June 10-20; SBA anticipates as many as 60, $50,000 awards. FAST provides a funding match for programs supporting SBIR/STTR outreach and support services; the program is limited to one, governor-supported application per state, so interested parties should begin considering their application well ahead of the June 28 deadline. SSTI will be hosting a free webinar on June 5 at 3 p.m. EDT, in which SBA staff will discuss the two funding opportunities: register today.

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