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U.S. Economic Development Administration - Innovate@EDA Monthly Update U.S. Department of Commerce homepage Innovate@EDA Monthly Newletter Archive U.S. Economic Development Administration homepage

May 2016

Spotlight: EDA Announces Two New Opportunities to Engage in Entrepreneurship/Innovation Programs

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Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker meets with 2015-2016 NACIE members

EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) is excited to announce major developments in two of its core initiatives:

  • Beginning May 2, 2016, OIE is soliciting applications for appointment to the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) for its next term. The application period will close at 11:59pm Eastern Time on June 1, 2016.
  • The 2016 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) has been launched. The application period is currently open and will close at 11:59pm Eastern Time on June 24, 2016.

Click here to read more.

Success Story: New Orleans BioInnovation Center, New Orleans, Louisiana

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The New Orleans BioInnovation Center in New Orleans, Louisiana

In 2015, the New Orleans BioInnovation Center (NOBIC) was awarded a $500,000 i6 Challenge grant to support increased commercialization in the region’s growing life science cluster and provide technical assistance to entrepreneurs in the Greater New Orleans and across the state.

NOBIC has scaled its assistance to entrepreneurs by engaging a greater number of businesses, providing workshops, networking, and resources to entrepreneurs, and developing a mentorship network to provide additional leadership to rising startups.

Click here to read more.

Highlight: Commerce Communities that Work Partnership Program Building Talent Pipeline in Dalton, Georgia; NACIE Member Spotlight; DOC Talks

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Secretary Pritzker and Assistant Secretary Williams tour Engineered Floors in Dalton, Georgia

On May 6, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and EDA Assistant Secretary Jay Williams visited Dalton, Georgia to highlight the Commerce Department’s Skills for Business Agenda and its signature initiative, the “Communities that Work Partnership” (CWTP). As part of their visit, they toured Engineered Floors and the Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy’s Advanced Manufacturing and Business Academy.

The recent ManpowerGroup's annual Talent Shortage Survey noted that 32 percent of U.S. employers report difficulties filling job vacancies due to talent shortages. Through its Skills for Business Agenda, the Commerce Department created the Communities that Work Partnership with the Aspen Institute to facilitate industry-led training partnerships that help prepare workers with the skills they need for in-demand jobs.

Click here to read more.

NACIE Member Spotlight

Eric Severson discusses his NACIE experience: At NACIE, Diversity is the Mother of Invention.

DOC Talks

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Andrew Reid, EDA’s Economic Development Representative for New York and Pennsylvania, delivered an overview of bureau efforts to help Columbia County, Pennsylvania recover from devastating flooding as a presenter in the “DOC Talks” speaker series. View Andrew’s presentation here.

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Breelyn Pete Named Director of External Affairs

Breelyn Pete, Director of External Affairs, EDA

On May 16, Assistant Secretary Williams named Breelyn Pete EDA’s Director of External Affairs. In this role, Breelyn will lead the agency’s outreach to external stakeholders, congressional and intergovernmental offices and media. Breelyn previously served as the agency’s Director of Public Affairs where she successfully led the public affairs team in support of the agency’s programs and initiatives aimed to support regional and national economic development.

Click here to read more.

EDA Denver Regional Office Conference Logo

EDA’s Denver Regional Office will hold its economic development conference “Create. Challenge. Change” from July 31-August 3 in Denver. The conference is being offered by the Northeast Nebraska Economic Development District with planning assistance by the NADO Research Foundation, and with support from the U.S. Economic Development Administration Denver Regional Office. Learn more and register here.


Check out the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Planning a Community Broadband Roadmap: A Toolkit for Local and Tribal Governments (PDF), which is designed to help communities expand broadband access locally to create jobs, improve educational opportunities, promote economic development, spur private investment and facilitate the delivery of essential social services. If your community would like additional resources NTIA’s BroadbandUSA website can help!

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On May 5, Assistant Secretary Williams highlighted EDA partnerships in Mississippi as the keynote speaker at the Mississippi Association of Planning and Development Districts Annual Conference in Biloxi.

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The Federal government is working to help improve the economies of Fresno, California and Detroit, Michigan. Check out these testimonials given by Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan at the 2016 EDA National Conference!

In conjunction with its’ 90th anniversary, the International Economic Development Council has celebrated “Economic Development Week” from May 8-14. Read Assistant Secretary Williams' statement commemorating IEDC’s 90th Anniversary and Economic Development Week here. image