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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. EDA Funding Supports Regional Innovation & Collaboration in Inner Cities

Pilot for Initiative for a Competitive Inner City to Strengthen Food Sector in Boston Region

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $96,000 grant to the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) of Boston, Mass., to develop a regional collaboration strategy for inner cities. The Inner City Food Cluster Pilot Program is intended to be a model that can be replicated in distressed inner-cities communities across the country. This investment is part of EDA's Jobs and Innovation Partnership platform to help build ecosystems where the private sector can flourish and create the connective tissue that will bind together vibrant regional economic ecosystems.

"Boston's food cluster is a key job generator for the region and is critical to its' economic competitiveness," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "This EDA grant will help to strengthen the cluster, which consist of many entrepreneurial and small business entities and will serve as a model that can be replicated in distressed inner-cities geographies across the U.S."

According to ICIC's Senior Vice President and Director of Research, Ms. Teresa Lynch, "The EDA Grant for the Inner City Food Cluster Pilot Program will not only help reverse job loss trends but will demonstrate the importance of inner city assets and the viability of vibrant inner city clusters within greater Boston's regional economy." Ms. Lynch also stated that, "The project has the strong support of Mayor Thomas M. Menino as well as the Metropolitan Area Planning Council."

The goal of this initiative is to analyze the assets and strengths of regions in inner cities, identify solutions to bolster the food sectors and implement a strategy to help reverse the current job loss trends for inner city workers. Earlier this month, EDA funded an effort to develop the Regional Innovation Acceleration Network (RIAN), which will assess innovation networks across the country to help identify economic development best practices and foster job creation. The RIAN will help economic development professionals leverage opportunities in areas like the Boston region.

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.