RIS

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.*

RIS awardees plan to bring products to market

In the most recent round of Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) funding, 42 organizations from 28 states were awarded $17 million 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’s awards leveraged over $22 million in private, state and local matching funds. Eight of those winners are members of SSTI and we heard from several of them on what this award will mean for their organization.  SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council has been instrumental in supporting the program, working with members of Congress to ensure its continued success.

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