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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Blog Entries from December 2015

Success Stories

GE facility in Asheville, NC Ashville, NC (ATRO) EDA University Center Partners with GE to Support Manufacturing of Aircraft Engines

Successful manufacturing is predicated upon innovation and implementation of new technologies that will support long-term competitiveness. While this is true in all industries, it is particularly true in aviation manufacturing. Increased pressures by consumers for engines that are fuel efficient and more powerful have led GE, a leader in aircraft engine manufacturing, to develop the new LEAP aircraft engine. This fourth generation aircraft engine is the most technologically advanced engine that the firm has ever produced and is stimulating significant investment in a number of GE manufacturing plants across the country to develop, assemble, and test parts for the new engine. As GE ramps up to begin full production of the new engine in 2016, the company has been examining how they can streamline operations to meet the growing demand beginning on day one.

At the GE facility in Asheville, NC, engineers and workers have been examining how the rotating seals and blades of the LEAP engine could be manufactured more efficiently, which will enable the company to manufacture more engines in a manner that is safer for employees.

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Highlight: EDA: A Year in Review

Secretary Pritzker with EDA staff for EDA's 50th anniversary celebration 2015 marked EDA's 50th anniversary!

Taking the time to reflect on everything EDA has accomplished helps us showcase the power of economic development and reminds us of the importance of supporting regional collaboration and focusing on innovation to create jobs!

Listen to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Commemorate EDA's 50th Anniversary (video)

Helping Communities Develop a Skilled and Adaptable Workforce

As the leader of the Commerce Department's strategic objective to catalyze innovation ecosystems in the U.S., EDA this year invested $55 million in 42 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance program projects across the nation to help communities develop a skilled and adaptable workforce. These investments are expected to spur $593 million in private investment and create more than 9,800 jobs, exceeding targets set in the strategic plan.

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Message from Assistant Secretary Jay Williams

U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Jay Williams At the Department of Commerce, our strategic plan provides us with a clear mission: to grow trade and investment, support innovation, provide environmental intelligence, unlock our data for the benefit of businesses and the public, and to deliver our services with operational excellence.

At EDA we support this strategic focus by working with our partners across the nation to make key long-term investments in the foundation of America’s economic growth - investments in people through skills training; investments in innovation and entrepreneurship; and investments in the country’s physical and digital infrastructure.

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NACIE Helping Bridge the Startup Funding Gap

On December 3rd and 4th, the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) will kick off its second year of a two-year term, advising the Department of Commerce on important issues related to our nation’s entrepreneurs, inventors and tomorrow’s workforce. One such issue NACIE sees as an opportunity is the “Valley of Death” in technology-based industries – a unique hurdle firms face when transitioning from public research funding to private investment. This is especially true in the industry I am most passionate about; medical devices and medical technology, and I’ve seen firsthand how building a supportive ecosystem can help reduce this funding chasm.

Today, investment in technology innovation and commercialization is critical to the competitive position of the United States and the economic growth of regional clusters. In the medical device industry, it is also critical to the health and well-being of the patient population. This is why the public sector has been a strong source of funding for early stage innovation, but the path toward successful commercialization only begins there. Federal programs such as Small Business Innovation Research grants and NSF i-Corps are instrumental in helping researchers transition technologies out of the lab. Yet, the “Valley of Death” has grown larger, often leaving technology startups struggling to make the transition from grant dollars to early stage investments. Why is this, and what can we be doing in our own communities to help?

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