U.S. EDA Invests to Advance the DC Metro Region's Homeland Security Regional Innovation Cluster and Link Anacostia to the Broader Regional Cluster
September 22, 2010
Contact: Cleve Mesidor, (202) 482-4085
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced $532,000 in grants to support a robust regional strategy and implementation plan for a homeland security cluster based in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Leveraging the unique opportunity afforded by the consolidation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Headquarters on the St. Elizabeths Campus in southeast Washington D.C., this project will embody EDA's commitment to bringing the benefits of innovation to distressed communities, as well as the Obama administration's focus on interagency collaboration and transparency.
"These vital EDA grants will advance development of a homeland security cluster based on cutting-edge technologies supportive of Department of Homeland Security initiatives," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "The strategy will work to accelerate innovation to create higher-skill, living-wage jobs, advance regional competitiveness, and generate private sector investment in the emerging homeland security sector."
"The EDA's award of a $300,000 grant will evaluate how best to take advantage of the innovative research and development conducted in and around facilities such as the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies in the region. Most importantly, this grant will help to leverage the General Services Administration's $3.4 billion investment in the St. Elizabeths Campus to also create high-paying jobs in the manufacturing and technology industries, as well as pathways to employment and training to meet the increasing opportunities in these critical industries. This is the kind of spinoff development I have sought during my service as Chair of the Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over both EDA and the General Services Administration. I have pushed these agencies to leverage their resources to maximize the return to the American taxpayer. Just as important, this grant will allow the Federal government's investment east of the Anacostia River to reap the maximum benefit for the citizens of the District of Columbia," said U.S. Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Economic Development and Emergency Preparedness.
The project has two distinct, but complementary, components:
- A $300,000 grant to the District of Columbia Office of Planning, Washington, D.C., and Carnegie Mellon University to identify the city's unique assets critical to the growth of the homeland security sector and to conduct a District planning and implementation strategy for innovation clusters focused on revitalizing the city's southeast neighborhoods in Wards 7 and 8.
- A $232,000 grant to Carnegie Mellon University to develop a Homeland Security & Regional Innovation Cluster planning and implementation strategy for the District, Maryland, and Virginia region. This strategy will build upon the District planning and implementation strategy, and focus on integrating this strategy into Maryland and Virginia's plans, in order to facilitate a comprehensive strategy for the growth of the region's homeland security cluster.
Washington D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray said, "I am delighted District residents stand to benefit from planning specifically targeted to jobs and economic development around the new Department of Homeland Security. The $300,000 EDA grant is certainly welcomed at a time when there is double digit unemployment in Ward 7 and 8. I am grateful to officials at the U.S. Department of Commerce for recognizing that stakeholders East of the River must play a major role as this huge project progresses."
"The District is very excited about the potential for an innovation hub that leverages the consolidation of DHS at St Elizabeths, and draws on District and regional assets," said Harriet Tregoning, the Director of the DC Office of Planning, District of Columbia Government. "Through this study, we will explore how to make deliberate connections between the innovation economy and neighborhoods. These connections could directly link residents to educational, business and employment opportunities, and stimulate economic and community revitalization east of the river."
"Carnegie Mellon University is thrilled to partner with the Federal government's inter-agency RIC taskforce and the District government to leverage its history of technology-based economic development to support DC's neighborhood development plan and to help advance regional innovation cluster development that will create jobs and broader economic prosperity at all levels of the socio-economic spectrum," said Dr. Christina Gabriel, Principal Investigator, Carnegie Mellon University.
"Maryland welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with our partners in Washington, D.C and Virginia on a regional strategy to fuel innovation in the defense of our nation," said Christian S. Johansson, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development. "We believe that all economic development is inherently regional and we look forward to working with our neighbors to maximize the tremendous economic impact and job creation that the relocation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security headquarters presents."
The steering committee that will advise this effort is comprised of representatives from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Homeland Security, Transportation, Labor, Education, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), and representatives from the District of Columbia and states of Maryland and Virginia.
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.