RIS

Senate approved revamped Regional Innovation Strategies as part of defense bill

Thanks to leadership by Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.), the Senate approved a revamped authorization of the Regional Innovation Strategies program (RIS) as part of its National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020 (NDAA). The bill would extend the program’s funding authority to $50 million per year through FY 2024.

Dozens of organizations state support for Regional Innovation Strategies

More than 50 current and former program awardees, along with 11 tech-based economic development-focused organizations led by SSTI have signed letters supporting the Regional Innovation Strategies program at EDA. Since 2014, when the program first received funding, EDA has funded 180 projects across nearly every state, D.C., and Puerto Rico. In FY 2019, Congress appropriated $23.5 million. These projects have supported specific regional activities, including mission-focused seed investing in Kansas, maritime tech demonstrations in Washington, and incubator services in Florida.

Regional Innovation Strategies deadline April 4

EDA is currently soliciting proposals for $23.5 million in Regional Innovation Strategies (i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support), and submissions are due April 4. For those looking for more information, EDA’s website contains profiles of all past awardees, and SSTI has a collection of past webinars, including the informational webinar for the current opportunity.

EDA opens 2019 Regional Innovation funding cycle

The Economic Development Administration is now accepting applications for the Regional Innovation Strategies program through April 4. Funding is available through the i6 Challenge, focused on transforming innovations into products and services, and Seed Fund Support, to help expand the availability of investment capital for startups. SSTI will again be hosting an informational webinar with EDA — see details and register below.

Regional Innovation Strategies program FY 2019 informational webinar
Tuesday, Feb. 12 @ 2 P.M. EST

Startup Act reintroduced, would expand federal innovation support

Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), co-signed by Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), re-introduced the Startup Act today. The bill would enact an array of innovation policies, including reauthorizing Regional Innovation Strategies, creating a new commercialization grant program, and implementing a startup visa. SSTI has endorsed the bill and hopes to see the legislation passed by the 116th Congress.

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.

Commentary: Making the most of federal funds for regional innovation

At the end of this month, applications are due for two of the federal government’s most notable programs for funding clusters and regional innovation initiatives: the SBA’s Regional Innovation Clusters (RIC) program and the EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. As practitioners develop their proposals for these programs, it is worth considering potential lessons learned from the successes of previous awardees and the major challenges they have faced.

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.

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.*

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