Technology Clusters in Hampton Roads, Virginia Region to Expand with U.S. EDA Assistance
March 14, 2011
Contact: John Atwood, (202) 482-4085
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) today announced a $500,000 grant to the Hampton Roads Partnership of Norfolk, Va., to expand the region's tech-based economy through support of the Innovate! Hampton Roads initiative, a network of seven regional incubators throughout Hampton Roads, Virginia.
"Since taking office, President Obama has been leading the charge to support our nation's innovators and entrepreneurs to build a new foundation for sustainable growth," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "This EDA grant will establish a tech-based business incubator network that will help create new, higher-skilled, living-wage job opportunities in the region."
"The EDA grant will help us strengthen and diversify our regional economy by providing essential support for emerging technology-based businesses," said E. Dana Dickens, III, President and CEO of the Hampton Roads Partnership.
Innovate! Hampton Roads (IHR) will create and support an incubator network of seven regional incubator nodes to leverage technology innovation cluster activities, entrepreneurship and incubation, facilitate university-business partnerships, and integrate services. These mechanisms will enhance technology transfer & commercialization, foster company creation and growth, and improve the regional entrepreneurship support system. A major function of the clusters is to bring together experts in the universities and federal laboratories with businesses needing this expertise.
This grant aligns with EDA's priority to advance public/private partnerships and support high-growth businesses and innovation-based entrepreneurs to help them expand and compete in global markets. The IHR initiative affects the six-county and 10-city region affected by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) and other defense-related closures.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration:
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.