America COMPETES Act Strengthens U.S. EDA's Efforts to Create Jobs
January 7, 2011
Contact: Cleve Mesidor, (202) 482-4085
Law prioritizes regional innovation cluster development & commercialization of new products
WASHINGTON - The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, which President Obama recently signed into law, strengthens the capacity of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) to elevate regional innovation cluster development as a key driver of future jobs growth and accelerate the commercialization of new technologies, products, processes, and services.
"The COMPETES Act provides an important boost to national efforts to put Americans back to work," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "Now EDA is even better positioned to lead efforts to advance cluster development, a key to sustainable growth in the 21st century, and tap into the nation's innovative ability to bring new ideas to the marketplace."
COMPETES supports EDA's Jobs and Innovation Partnership framework through the establishment of a Regional Innovation Program to encourage and support the development of regional innovation strategies, including regional innovation clusters and science and research parks. It also formally establishes EDA's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Department of Commerce to foster innovation and the commercialization of new technologies, products, processes, and services with the goal of promoting productivity and economic growth in the United States.
The new law advances the Obama administration's innovation agenda by doubling funding to our nation's basic research agencies; boosting investment in high-risk, high-reward energy technology development; and improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.
In a recent statement, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke noted, "These innovative programs and initiatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce, with the help of the America COMPETES Act, will help create jobs here at home, make our businesses more competitive abroad and strengthen the foundation of our economy."
"EDA appreciates the bipartisan support from Congress that helped these important initiatives succeed," Fernandez added.
The full text of the law can be found at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-111hr5116enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr5116enr.pdf.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov): The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.