MN, IA, Other States Look to Strong Agbiosciences Industry to Support Economic Prosperity

Minnesota’s economic future may well be rooted in its historic leadership in agricultural production, according to a new report prepared by Battelle, Agbioscience as a Development Driver: Minnesota Agbioscience Strategy. The report includes an assessment of Minnesota’s key capacities and opportunities in agricultural research and a suggested strategy for the state with a specific focus on growing the state’s agricultural bioscience (agbioscience) research infastructure. After interviewing more than 100 researchers and research administrators, the authors identified four agbioscience research platform areas to target:

White House Announces $10 Billion Fund for Rural Development

The White House Rural Council has launched a $10 billion rural economic development fund. This launch was announced last Thursday at the Rural Opportunity Investment Conference held in Washington D.C. CoBank, a Denver-based national cooperative bank, serves as the anchor investor of the fund that will be managed by Capitol Peak Asset Management. Capitol will also recruit additional institutional investors to the fund including pension funds, endowments, and foundations that are interested in investing in rural areas.

USDA Announces Launch of $150M Fund To Support Small, Rural Businesses

A $150 million fund, formed under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Business Investment Program (RBIP), will provide equity capital to small businesses in rural parts of the country. The fund will be managed by Advantage Capital Partners, which, along with eight other farm credit institutions, has pledged the backing capital for the effort. USDA has announced that it will accept applications for other new Rural Business Investment Companies to raise funds from farm credit institutions in order to make equity investments. Applications are due July 29. Read the announcement…

$150M Rural Investment Fund to Support Cutting-Edge Ag Businesses

As part of an effort to support rural, small businesses in cutting-edge fields such as bio-manufacturing and advanced energy production, the USDA announced a new capital access initiative to facilitate private investment. The $150 million investment fund is being formed under USDA’s Rural Business Investment Program and will be managed by Advantage Capital Partners. Read the announcement.

Funding for TBED Trimmed in NC Budget

Lawmakers continued to provide support for life sciences at a reduced level in the recently enacted budget; however, other technology areas did not fare as well. In some cases, funding was eliminated for tech-based initiatives, and lawmakers allowed a tax credit for early stage investors to expire. Meanwhile, the North Carolina Biotechnology Center plans to consolidate activities and redouble efforts to keep things moving in the wake of a 27 percent reduction to their budget.

White House Announces Winners of Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge

The Obama administration today announced the 12 winners of the multi-agency Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge. Approximately $9 million in federal funding will help support rural public-private partnerships to promote job creation, accelerate innovation and provide assistance to entrepreneurs and businesses in a wide range of industrial sectors in rural regions across the country. Economic development partnerships and initiatives in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia will receive awards ranging from nearly $200,000 to over $1 million from participating federal agencies. Based on grantee estimates, it is expected that in the short term a total of 2,990 jobs will be created or retained and $35.5 million in private investment will be leveraged. In the long term, grantees estimate that a total of 6,460 jobs will be created or retained and $69.6 million in private investment will be leveraged.Read the release...

President Announces Capital Initiatives for Rural Small Businesses

Speaking during a Rural Economic Forum at Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta, IA, President Obama announced several new initiatives to promote economic growth in rural areas, including two new capital programs. The Small Business Administration (SBA) will partner with USDA to double its current rate of investment in rural small businesses to $350 million over the next five years. This will be accomplished through SBA's Impact Investment Fund. SBA and USDA also will launch a series of rural private equity and venture capital conferences nationwide to help connect private equity and venture capital investors with rural startups, according to a White House press release. Read the announcement...

Arkansas Task Force Recommends State Investments in Tech Companies, Co-locating Economic Development Agencies

To attract and grow high technology businesses and streamline its economic development efforts, a task force created in 2007 to study economic competitiveness in Arkansas recommends the state remove its constitutional prohibition on state equity investments in private companies and co-locate its three economic development agencies.

Unlocking Rural Competitiveness: The Role of Regional Clusters

January 01, 2007

This report is composed of two main components. The first explores the relationships between rural economies, industry clusters, and economic indicators, leading to the creation of an online database. The second part takes this database, and along with stakeholder surveys, to create an economic development strategy for an 8 county region in Indiana.

Transforming the Regions Economy: Road to Renaissance (Detroit)

January 01, 2006

Detroit Renaissance is leading a region-wide collaboration that is developing strategies and taking actions to transform that region’s economy. Called the Road to Renaissance, the initiative has benchmarked 6 peer domestic and international regions, gathered input from over 650 local leaders from 500 different organizations, analyzed the region’s business and workforce strengths and been led by a 30 member steering committee.


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