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A bureau within the U.S. Department of Commerce


Press Release

U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration Invests in University Centers to Promote Job and Economic Growth

21 Institutions Receive Awards to Advance Regional Development Strategies

WASHINGTON - Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank today announced that 21 universities across the country will receive a total of $12 million in awards from the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA) through its University Center Program to enhance regional economic development tools that will expand opportunity and create jobs.

EDA's Chicago and Philadelphia regional offices hosted the program's most recent competitions, and winning universities will receive funding to boost their economic development efforts that assist local government and nonprofit organizations in planning and implementing regional economic development strategies.

"Innovation and entrepreneurship fuel America's economy. Our success in creating the conditions that spur new ideas will determine the opportunities for future generations," Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said. "The University Center Program represents an important partnership that advances innovation, supports stronger economic growth, and helps create the high-skill, high-wage jobs of the future."

University Centers provide targeted assistance with research commercialization, workforce development and entrepreneurship, as well as business counseling services. The Centers also help local organizations conduct preliminary feasibility studies, analyze data, and convene customized seminars and workshops on topics such as regional strategic planning and capital budgeting.

Institutions of higher education are critical players in the development of competitive and vibrant economies. Universities leverage assets—such as faculty, staff, students, research and development centers, laboratories, and high-speed broadband networks—to drive regional economic growth through innovation. They help move new ideas from the lab to the consumer market and support bottom-up strategies that enable business expansion and job creation.

"Congratulations to these 21 universities, not just on their award, but for their commitment to accelerating economic and job growth around the nation," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "EDA is proud to partner with these great institutions and collaborate to advance administration efforts to rebuild our nation's economy."

The winners of the EDA University Center competition announced today include:

EDA Chicago Regional Office:

  • $683,125 to the University of Illinois
  • $970,000 to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • $915,000 to Michigan State University
  • $941,865 to Purdue University
  • $615,000 to the University of Minnesota
  • $665,000 to Cleveland State University
  • $800,000 to Bowling Green State University

EDA Philadelphia Regional Office:

  • $500,000 to Becker College
  • $500,000 to Northeastern University
  • $500,000 to Pennsylvania State University
  • $500,000 to Rutgers University
  • $500,000 to Temple University
  • $500,000 to Duquesne University
  • $483,830 to the University of Connecticut
  • $500,000 to the University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez
  • $500,000 to Delaware State University
  • $500,000 to the University of Maryland
  • $500,000 to the University of Southern Maine
  • $500,000 to Syracuse University
  • $500,000 to Virginia Tech
  • $500,000 to Marshall University

Last week, President Obama announced an initiative among university presidents across the country - driven by the Commerce Department's National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (NACIE) - to help convert the ideas from America's universities and research labs into new products. In coordination with the Obama Administration, the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), 135 university leaders have committed to working more closely with industry, investors, and agencies, to bolster entrepreneurship, encourage university-industry collaboration, and enhance economic development. More than 40 universities, including many of those represented on NACIE, outlined recent and planned efforts to fulfill their commitments.

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.