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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces $1.7 Million Grant to Support Technology Commercialization in Missoula, Montana

Public-private partnership will help move new innovations from the lab to the marketplace

WASHINGTON - U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced a $1.7 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to Montana Technology Enterprise Center (MonTEC) of Missoula, Mont., to renovate the MonTEC business incubator and build a new pilot chemical processing plant to help technology start-up companies commercialize research from the University of Montana.

"Continuous innovation and a flow of new technologies to the marketplace are vital to U.S. job creation and competitiveness," Locke said. "This EDA grant will help to bring jobs and economic growth to Montana by advancing the innovation economy and high-growth entrepreneurship."

"This grant from EDA and the University of Montana will help Rivertop commercialize its progressive chemistry," said Jere Kolstad, President and Chief Financial Officer for Rivertop Renewables. "Our renewable chemicals are part of a new U.S. manufacturing industry that will create value-added products, add domestic jobs, and create export revenues."

EDA is partnering with the University of Montana to support the region's first pilot facility that will help research-based start-up companies grow. According to grantee estimates, the facility's anchor tenant expects to create 566 jobs and generate $9.8 million in private investment with its innovative green chemistry platform process used to produce nontoxic, biodegradable chemicals.

The Montana Technology Enterprise Center project builds on the Startup America initiative launched earlier this year by President Obama, which promotes innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship, encourages private-sector investment in job-creating startups and small firms, accelerates research, and addresses barriers to success for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

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.