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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Commerce Department's EDA Announces Winners of the Innovation in Economic Development Awards

ATLANTA, Ga. - U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez today announced the winners of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) 2010 Innovation in Economic Development Awards during the Southeast Workforce and Economic Development Conference co-hosted by EDA and the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. The recognition contest is in its 10th year.

"The 2010 Innovation Award winners showcase some of the nation's best practices for promoting economic development through collaborative initiatives and highlight outstanding examples of regional success in the global marketplace," said Fernandez. "I congratulate all the winners for their tremendous contributions to strengthen our nation's economy." Formerly known as the Excellence Awards, this year's awards encompass four categories: Innovation in Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs); Innovation in Commercialization; Innovation in Global Export Promotion; Innovation in Green Technology. The winners are:

  • CONNECT; La Jolla, Calif., - Innovation in Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs)
    CONNECT is a non-profit organization formed in 1985 with the mission of commercializing technology coming from San Diego's many federally-funded research institutions and offering on-going education, networking and recognition to start-up companies in emerging technology business clusters. The California Governor's Office of Economic Development designated San Diego as one of California's seven Innovation Hubs (iHUB) and CONNECT serves as the leader of San Diego's local iHUB effort.
  • Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (BBDP); Lexington, Ky., - Innovation in Commercialization
    BBDP is a collaboration among the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG), Commerce Lexington's (CLX) economic development divisions, and three University of Kentucky (UK) based organizations - the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship (VAC), the Lexington office of statewide Innovation & Commercialization Centers (ICC), and the Lexington office of statewide Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). BBDP's goal is to be a one-stop, super-service provider, linking small businesses and entrepreneurs with the information they need to be successful. They offer a full range of business development services.
  • Pennsylvania Center for Trade Development "Envoy Program"; Harrisburg, Pa., - Innovation in Global Export Promotion
    The Envoy Program is designed to increase Pennsylvania companies' global competitiveness by providing them with a Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development-supported low-cost, low-risk, and high-performance method of building a continuous and pro-active bilingual sales and marketing presence in international markets. Envoy services vary depending on the needs of the client, but the key concept is to allow the company to employ a representative who is laser focused on implementing the sales plan, pursuing leads, developing customer, agents, and channels.
  • University of Arizona Tech Park's "Solar Zone", Tucson, Ariz., - Innovation in Green Technology
    The Solar Zone, an innovative strategic partnership between the University of Arizona and Tucson Electric Power is working to create a supportive environment where companies can develop, test and demonstrate the next generation of renewable energy products and technologies. The goals of the Solar Zone are to attract private investment, create sustainable, high-wage jobs, develop a skilled workforce, reduce the region's reliance on traditional energy sources, and educate the public on the importance of sustainable energy.

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.