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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Commerce Department's EDA Solicits Applications for $35 Million Funding Opportunity to Create Jobs & Advance Regional Industry Strengths in Florida's Space Coast

Regional Innovation Cluster Competition Fast-tracks Grant Process to Promote Business Development and Competitiveness

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced the upcoming availability of funding through the Space Coast Regional Innovation Cluster (RIC) Competition under EDA's Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) Program. The $35 million, multi-agency initiative solicits competitive applications for this major effort to build on existing strengths and promote collaboration between public, private, and nonprofit partners in the region.

"This special grant competition is a key component of President Obama's commitment to create high-skill, high-wage jobs and a strong economic base in the Space Coast in the wake of the closure of the Space Shuttle program," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "The competition seeks to create new jobs by boosting the economic diversification and competitiveness of Florida's Space Coast by identifying and funding local initiatives that advance regional strengths in the existing aviation and aerospace, clean technology, homeland security and defense, information technology, and life sciences clusters."

The competition was one of several key recommendations presented to the President by the Task Force on Space Industry Workforce & Economic Development, which was tasked with developing a plan to grow the Space Coast's economy and prepare its workers for 21st century opportunities. The full report submitted to the President can be viewed here. The competition will be coordinated by EDA in collaboration with members of the Task Force, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Small Business Administration, the Department of Labor, and other agencies. Earlier this year, President Obama announced a space initiative that includes a budget increase of $6 billion over five years to support a bold new path of innovation and discovery that will create thousands of jobs at Kennedy Space Center, on the Space Coast, and nationwide.

The Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) notice for the Space Coast Regional Innovation Cluster Competition is available at www.grants.gov or www.eda.gov/SpaceCoastRIC. The deadline to submit completed applications is 5 p.m. ET on October 15, 2010, and the application package can be accessed at www.grants.gov. EDA will conduct an informational teleconference for prospective applicants at 2 p.m. EDT on September 8, 2010. For more information on the September 8 teleconference, please see the "Informational Teleconference" section IV.F. of the FFO.

This FFO announces the upcoming availability of funding for the Space Coast Regional Innovation Cluster Competition. The total anticipated allocation for the competition is $35 million. The funding for the FFO is contingent upon Congressional approval of the administration's 2011 budget request.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov): This year, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) marks 45 years of public service, with a mission of leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA is an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster job creation, collaboration and innovation.