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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce



EDA's 1st Quarter Grant Process - Next deadline is June 10, 2011

To provide increased efficiency, transparency, and competitiveness in its application selection process, EDA recently revised its grants process by moving from a system of rolling application acceptance to one of quarterly funding competitions.

During the first quarter, EDA received 110 applications requesting a combined $158 million in EDA funding, of which:

  • 75 applications were eliminated from the competition during EDA's Technical and Merit Review process;
  • 35 applications, totaling over $48 million in requests, were forwarded to be reviewed by EDA's Investment Review Committee (IRC); and,
  • 16 applicants received non-binding commitment letters to fund their combined $14.7 million in requests.

Applicants who submit a complete application package prior to the quarterly deadline are notified of EDA's selection decisions within 20 business days of that deadline. During the first round of competition EDA exceeded this goal, informing applicants about EDA's decision in less than 19 business days, on average. All projects are assessed against EDA's strategic priorities and evaluated by an Investment Review Committee (IRC) where EDA professionals will analyze and recommend proposals to the EDA Regional Director for that quarter's available funding. EDA received 11 proposals that were rated Highly Competitive when assessed by EDA's strategic priorities, and 71 proposals that were rated Competitive. Of these, only 35 applications that also passed EDA's Technical Review process were submitted to the IRC.


Commerce Dept Open Recruitment for U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum

Following President Obama’s trip to Brazil, the U.S. Commerce Department has opened the recruitment period for U.S. companies to apply for private sector membership in the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum.  Secretary Gary Locke co-chaired the sixth meeting of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum this past weekend, where U.S. and Brazilian business leaders discussed concrete recommendations to improve trade between the two countries.

“Our nations established the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum to add an important private-sector voice to the discussion on growing trade and investment, and creates jobs in both countries,” Locke said. “The cooperative efforts already underway between our two countries will increase America’s and Brazil’s global competitiveness.”

The Forum, made up of 20 CEOs from the United States and Brazil, meets twice a year to make recommendations to the two governments on ways to strengthen the U.S.-Brazil economic relationship. The U.S. CEOs serve two-year terms, and are selected from respondents to a joint Commerce-White House Federal Register notice for applicants to the U.S. section of the Forum.

The Forum’s recommendations have advanced discussions between the United States and Brazil governments on important issues such as visa reform, customs procedures, education, energy, trade facilitation and infrastructure.

With a potential market of 195 million consumers, and per capita incomes forecasted to grow at an average rate of six percent during the next several years, Brazil offers tremendous opportunities to U.S. exporters of goods and services. In the past five years, trade between the United States and Brazil has more than doubled with total U.S. goods and services exports to Brazil in 2010 estimated to be more than $50 billion.  Brazil is among the fastest growing economies in the world and is anticipated to grow by between 4 and 5 percent in 2011.

Companies interested in participating in the Forum should view the Federal Register notice for information on how to apply. Applications should be received no later than April 29, 2011.


Startup America from the White House Blog

Last month, Director of the National Economic Council, Gene Sperling and SBA Administrator, Karen Mills, along with Fast Company Editor Nancy Cook, hosted a live chat to answer your questions about the Startup America initiative and ways to reduce burdens to entrepreneurship and innovation. The White House launched the Startup America initiative to celebrate, inspire and accelerate high-growth entrepreneurship around the country. As part of the effort, senior Administration officials are traveling around the country for Startup America: Reducing Barriers Roundtables

Check out the full video.