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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Blog Entries from September 2016

NACIE 3.0 Takes Baton for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

By Julie Lenzer, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The NACIE updates Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on their mid-term progress at Google HQ DC, December 4th, 2015. What does an entrepreneurial beverage company, corporate innovators, a community college in rural West Virginia, world-class universities, and venture firms have in common? They are among the 30+ organizations represented by innovators who were selected to advise the U.S. Secretary of Commerce as part of the third membership cycle of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE).

The overwhelming number of applicants for “NACIE 3.0” represented significant accomplishments and successes in their fields, making the final selection difficult. The members announced today — with a few returning for a second term — have not only experienced notable success in their careers but also bring varied experiences and perspectives, and hail from diverse geographic regions and backgrounds. This diversity is a key element in devising innovative recommendations to help the U.S. government accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship across ALL regions of the United States.

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The EDA Impact by the Numbers

By Jay Williams, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development

U.S. Map Depicting How EDA Has Helped Communities Generate Jobs, Retain Existing Jobs and Stimulate Industrial and Commercial GrowthFor more than 50 years, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has led the nation’s economic development agenda. Each year, EDA publishes an annual report to showcase EDA projects impacting economic growth across the country. The report tells the story of what we do at EDA: build ladders of opportunity for all Americans.

During my tenure as Assistant Secretary, I have had the opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses, and have found that we all share the common goal of improving our communities.

To help our communities succeed and meet 21st century demands, EDA, under the U.S. Department of Commerce’s “Open for Business” agenda, is modernizing the way economic development is done while building on our historical strength of helping distressed communities revitalize, expand, and upgrade their physical infrastructure.

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Highlight: New Agreement with Government of Mexico Will Strengthen Cross-Border Integration

Thomas Guevara, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs, U.S. Department of Commerce and Enrique Jacob Rocha, President, Mexican National Entrepreneurship Institute. On August 5, 2016, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Affairs, Thomas Guevara signed a Cooperation Arrangement between the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and Mexico’s National Entrepreneurship Institute (INADEM). The agreement aims to facilitate the linkages of clusters in the United States and Mexico to form strategic partnerships across North America.

The signing took place during the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Mexico-U.S. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council (MUSEIC) in Tijuana, Mexico. This meeting, which brought together entrepreneurs, government officials, businesses, academic institutions, and innovators from the United States, Mexico, and Canada, was an opportunity to highlight the group’s accomplishments and push for continued progress on key issues to strengthen the entrepreneurship ecosystem in North America.

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Success Story: Pacific Northwest Diabetes Institute

Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute logo In FY 2010, EDA provided a $2 million grant to the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Institute to fund the acquisition of new technology and upgrades of scientific equipment. The grant also funded instrumentation to support new hi-tech companies in their research facility and medical technology incubator. The project was intended to address severe job loss in the biotech and life science sectors in metropolitan Puget Sound, Washington.

After six years, the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Institute has indicated that the project has resulted in $500,000 in private investment, created 184 jobs, and retained 110 jobs for a total of 294 jobs. Several tenant companies were established and the Institute has also licensed product inventions to large companies including Eli Lilly and Merck.

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Spotlight: Maine in Review: Economic Development Assessment Team Strategizes for Long-Term Economic Growth

EDAT team at the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center. From August 17-19, 2016, EDA deployed an Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT) to assist Maine’s struggling forest-based economy. Over the course of the three-day tour, participating federal agencies, along with key members of the forest-products industry and local community development officials, traveled together to see firsthand the various components of the forest-product ecosystem.

The EDAT team engaged closely with businesses and communities that have been deeply affected by the economic transition and transformation occurring throughout the state. EDAT members met with local, small and large land owners and loggers, toured a saw mill and state of the art paper mill, visited a small woodlot, and saw multiple shuttered facilities, including a biomass facility and two former paper mills. The team also met with many community leaders to discuss the effects the struggling industry has on towns and communities, and the various approaches to grow their economies.

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