Tech Hubs Frequently Asked Questions – Phase 1 Process and Phase 2 NOFO

The below Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are designed to help Tech Hubs Phase 1 applicants better understand the Phase 1 process, and to help the Designated Tech Hubs better understand the Phase 2 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). If you have any questions that are not addressed in the FAQs below, please feel free to contact us at [email protected]. Please also be sure to carefully read the Tech Hubs Phase 2 NOFO, which can be found here (PDF).

EDA will update these FAQs every two weeks, so please check them for new information. EDA also encourages you to subscribe to our newsletter and to check the Tech Hubs website for updates on the program.

Phase 1 Process

Phase 2

All construction-related questions are marked with an asterisk *
All risk mitigation plan questions are marked with a dagger †

Phase 1 Process

  1. Will EDA publish a list of all Phase 1 applicants and/or post all Phase 1 applications?
    • EDA will publish a list of all Phase 1 Lead Consortium Members and application titles and will publish the five-page narratives of the Designated Tech Hubs.
  2. Can EDA provide feedback on our consortium’s Phase 1 application?
    • EDA will provide individualized feedback to Designated Tech Hubs during the Phase 2 application window. We will provide individualized feedback to Strategy Development Grant (SDG) awardees in the first half of 2024. We will provide aggregated feedback to applicants who were not awarded Designation or a Strategy Development Grant in a webinar. We will provide details of the webinar to applicants via email.
  3. Our consortium applied for both a Strategy Development Grant and for Designation but we were only awarded one or the other. What does this mean for our consortium?
    • EDA awarded Strategy Development Grants based on the criteria listed in the Phase 1 NOFO section E.1.a and awarded Designations based on the criteria listed in the Phase 1 NOFO section E.1.b. Applications from the same consortium were evaluated separately.
    • For those consortia awarded Strategy Development Grants but not Designation, EDA expects the grant-funded activities to make your consortia more competitive for potential future competitions for Designation.
    • For those consortia awarded Designation but not Strategy Development Grants, EDA considers you and all Designated Tech Hubs well-positioned to submit high-quality Phase 2 applications for Implementation grants.
  4. What else does it mean for a consortium to be a Designated Tech Hub?
    • EDA is committed to supporting all designated Tech Hubs in successfully realizing their vision. To that end, we have developed a list of benefits and commitments from EDA and other U.S. Government Departments and Agencies to support the Tech Hubs.  In particular, Designated Tech Hubs are invited to submit Phase 2 applications for implementation funding. EDA will continue to identify, provide, and facilitate additional benefits to Designated Tech Hubs throughout Phase 2.
  5. Will there be future opportunities to apply for Tech Hubs Strategy Development Grants or Designation?
    • EDA plans to conduct additional Tech Hubs competitions for Designation and Strategy Development Grants if EDA receives future appropriations. While the program was authorized for $10 billion in the CHIPS and Science Act, EDA has not yet been appropriated additional funds for the Tech Hubs program and cannot forecast if or when that will occur.

Phase 2

Consortium Structure

  1. Can my consortium add or remove members between Phase 1 and Phase 2?
    • Yes, membership can change. Members can be added so long as their entity type is an eligible recipient. Please refer to the Phase 2 NOFO section C.1 for guidance on specific eligibility of types of members. The applicant should describe in the Overarching Narrative of their Phase 2 application how new members or other membership changes improve the likelihood or magnitude of success. See this question regarding unallowed changes to consortia’s geographic footprints between Phase 1 and Phase 2.
  2. Can the Lead Consortium Member change between Phase 1 and Phase 2?
    • Yes. Please notify the Tech Hubs team at [email protected] as soon as possible so we can ensure the invitation to apply goes to the correct entity.  In addition, the applicant should justify the change in the Overarching Narrative of their Phase 2 application. Note that a consortium cannot have more than one Lead Consortium Member.
  3. Can our consortium’s geographic footprint change between Phase 1 and Phase 2? (Question updated 12/5/2023)
    • No. Although consortia may include assets or members outside their chosen geography, applicants identified their chosen geography in Phase 1 and must retain it in their Phase 2 application. See section A.1.b.i of the Phase 2 NOFO. See this question regarding changes to consortia’s membership between Phase 1 and Phase 2.
    • While applicants are free to identify benefits of a Tech Hub that go beyond their chosen geography, EDA anticipates that a substantial majority of the benefits (e.g., job creation and retention, worker placements, capital formation and deployment, firm creation and growth) expected to result from EDA funding should accrue within the Tech Hub.
  4. Can a consortium member be the Component Project Lead for multiple or all component projects for the Phase 2 application?
    • Yes; however, any consortium member leading multiple component projects should demonstrate its capacity to manage each of those component projects individually as well as the multiple component projects jointly.
  5. Are consortia required to create a separate legal entity to apply for funding? (Question updated on 11/20/2023)
    • There is no formal requirement and EDA does not prefer a particular consortium structure. Consortia may choose to create a new legal entity, use MOUs, or use an informal structure. However, EDA does expect that consortium members are actively collaborating and aligned on their Tech Hubs strategy as coordinated by the Lead Consortium Member and Regional Innovation Officer.
    • If you intend to create a new entity that would receive EDA funds, consider when it will be created in relation to a potential award announcement in summer 2024. You should start the process soon (and register it in for a CAGE code and UEI number), though it still may not be ready by summer 2024 when EDA expects to announce awards. Late registration or entity changes may cause delays in a potential award, disbursements, etc.
    • Another EDA competition, the Build Back Better Regional Challenge, held a webinar on this topic that may be helpful. See the fourth and fifth rows on this webpage: the “BBR COP Webinar: Tax Exemption Statuses and Organizational Models” and the “BBR COP Webinar Slides: Tax Exemption Statuses and Organizational Models.”
  6. Can our consortium include members based in other countries?
    • Yes, foreign entities may be members of Tech Hubs consortia. However, EDA prohibits all participation, including but not limited to consortia membership, of foreign entities of concern (FEOCs) in Tech Hubs consortia. FEOCs are entities that are owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of a foreign country of concern as defined in 10 USC 4872(d)(2). See 15 CFR Part 231.  
    • A substantial majority of the benefits (e.g., job creation and retention, worker placements, capital formation and deployment, firm creation and growth) expected to result from EDA funding should accrue within the Tech Hub.
  7. Can I belong to more than one consortium? (Question added on 11/9/2023)
    • Yes. However, every consortium member should play a clear role in and actively add value to their consortium, and a consortium member’s capacity to effectively implement project activities across multiple consortia will be relevant.
  8. What is the responsibility of the Component Project Lead, and what is the rationale behind having each Component Project Lead submit their own application, instead of having the Lead Consortium Member submit everything? (Question added on 11/9/2023)
    • If awarded, the Component Project Lead will be a direct grantee of EDA, receiving and signing their own award for that project. Upon acceptance of the award, they enter a legally binding relationship with EDA. They will be responsible for managing their project’s administration and finances and regular reporting on their project progress. They will also be responsible for coordinating with the RIO, Consortium Lead, the other Component Project Leads, and their own project’s sub-recipients.
    • In addition, for construction projects, the owner of the property being built on or improved needs to be a direct grantee of EDA.
  9. Should the RIO be hired by the time we submit our Phase 2 application? (Question added on 11/20/2023)
    • By the time you submit the Phase 2 application, your consortium’s RIO should either be hired (in which case you should submit their resume with the application) or you should have made significant process toward hiring a RIO (and present a detailed plan for and status of how you will recruit and select a RIO).
  10. Can a Federal entity be a consortium member? (Question added on 12/5/2023)
    • With the exception of National Labs, Federal labs, and Manufacturing USA Institutes, federal entities may not be consortium members. However, we welcome Tech Hubs to engage federal entities as advisors on strategy. Reach out to [email protected] and your POC for further questions.
  11. Should the RIO focus full-time on the Tech Hub? Can they also focus on other regional economic development efforts? (Question added on 12/5/2023)
    • EDA expects the RIO to spend the majority of their time coordinating and leading the Tech Hub.
  12. How is intellectual property stemming from an EDA award treated? Will consortium members retain ownership of that IP? (Question added on 12/29/2023)
    • The non-Federal entity owns any work produced or purchased under a Federal award subject to the DOC’s royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to obtain, reproduce, publish, or otherwise use the work for Government purposes. See pages 17 and 18 of the Dept of Commerce Standard Terms and Conditions (ST&Cs), which apply to all EDA awards. These sections of the ST&Cs are based on relevant laws and regulations, including but not limited to 2 CFR 200.315 (Intangible property).
  13. Will EDA impose any restrictions on the dissemination or publication of Tech Hubs-generated intellectual property?† (Question added on 1/31/2024)
    • EDA does not anticipate imposing any such restrictions. However, Hubs and their consortia members should be aware of and abide by all applicable laws and regulations (e.g., Export Administration Regulations, International Traffic in Arms Regulations, etc.).
    • See this question on ownership of intellectual property.
  14. How should we distinguish between co-applicants, subrecipients, and contractors? (Question added on 2/20/2024)
    • Subrecipients: To be considered a subrecipient, an organization must be an eligible entity under this NOFO. A subrecipient is an entity that receives a subaward from a pass-through entity (i.e., the lead applicant) to carry out part of a Federal award. Subrecipients generally carry out a portion of project activities on behalf of the applicant or co-applicant(s). Additional documentation may be required for each potential subrecipient. For more information on application requirements, see the NOFO.  Please note that, when deciding between applying as a co-applicant or relying on subrecipients to perform part of the scope of work, EDA generally prefers subrecipients absent specific facts and contexts that require a co-applicant relationship. Please consult your Program Officer if you believe you are in such a situation.
    • Co-applicants: Each co-applicant must be an eligible entity under this NOFO. Generally, co-applicants jointly manage and implement the scope of work of an award. Co-applicants have a significant role in the project scope of work. Co-applicants are generally required to submit the same forms that the primary applicant must submit. See the NOFO for specific application requirements and a comprehensive checklist of the documents required for all co-applicants. Co-applicants of an application that is awarded funding will be considered “Co-recipients.”
      • In the case of construction grants, if the property owner is not the Lead Applicant, they SHOULD be listed a co-applicant.
    • Contractors: Contractors are entities that receive a contract, defined as a legal instrument by which a recipient or subrecipient purchases property or services needed to carry out a project or program under a Federal award (for definition of “contractor” see 2 CFR 200.1). Contractors do not have to meet eligibility requirements under this NOFO (see section C.1). All contractors (including contractors listed in application materials) must be procured in accordance with the procurement standards at 2 CFR §§ 200.317-327. Please note: Contractors that receive federal funds under this award cannot provide match or cost share for the same award.


  1. What is the Phase 2 application deadline? (Question updated on 11/21/2023)
    • The deadline for Phase 2 applications is 4:59 p.m. Eastern Time on February 29, 2024. Applications received after this deadline will not be reviewed or considered.
  2. How should applicants account for other federal grant programs, including both active investment from other programs and pending applications for investment?
    • To succeed in increasing their global competitiveness over the next decade, Tech Hubs will require policy and investment commitments beyond EDA’s investment.  To that end, applicants should identify and describe other public and private investments that support their respective Tech Hub’s strategy and how those investments align with proposed Tech Hubs investments.
    • With respect to federal investments, applicants should consider and explain how other federal investments not only complement but are aligned with their proposed Tech Hubs projects and activities.  EDA will not make duplicative investments, and only in rare cases can applicants use other federal investments as matching funds, so applicants should ensure that proposed projects and activities are not otherwise funded by a match-ineligible federal investment.  In the case of pending applications in which applicants are pursuing federal investment for the same or similar activities, applicants should ensure they have a distinct proposal.  In all cases, applicants should explicitly state in their component applications how Tech Hubs and any other relevant federal investments align to increase the likelihood and magnitude of shared impacts.
  3. Who will review the Phase 2 applications and what is the review process?
    • For all consortia that submit a Full Application for Implementation Grants, the entire application, including the Overarching Narrative and all Component Projects, will be evaluated by at least three individuals and scored against the criteria set forth in the NOFO section E1. EDA will sort the resultant scores into tiers of similarly scored applications, and some or all applications will advance to a second level of review by an Investment Review Committee (IRC) of at least three reviewers. The IRC will review the applications collectively using the same criteria listed above and relevant selection factors. EDA may, in its discretion and including at the IRC’s request, consult experts outside of EDA on the merits of proposed component projects to assist the IRC in its evaluation. The IRC will present the Selection Official with a recommended portfolio of applications and how to apply the selection factors listed in the Phase 2 NOFO section E.2.
  4. Will all Designated Tech Hubs receive Phase 2 Implementation funds?
    • At current funding levels, EDA expects to select approximately 5-10 of the Designated Tech Hubs to receive Implementation funding. Only Designated Tech Hubs are eligible to apply for Implementation funding under this Phase 2 NOFO. 
  5. Could EDA award an Implementation grant to more than one Tech Hub in a given state?
    • Yes, this is a possibility. All Designated Tech Hubs have an equal chance at being awarded implementation funds. However, as stated in the NOFO, EDA will consider geographic diversity in selecting a portfolio of implementation awards.
  6. Will there be an opportunity for Designated Tech Hubs that receive Implementation grants to apply for more funds beyond the amount awarded in Phase 2?
    • If appropriated more funding, EDA plans to conduct additional Tech Hubs competitions.  EDA’s design of future iterations of the program will depend on the timing and amount of potential future appropriations, which may or may not enable EDA to invite recipients of implementation funding to apply for follow-on funding.  EDA cannot forecast the likelihood of future appropriations or the specific details of future Tech Hubs NOFOs.
  7. Can we include an appendix with our application?
    • Regardless of how you organize your application, if you include an appendix, it must fit within the page limit of the associated narrative. Do not submit an appendix as a separate document. You are not required to submit an appendix.
  8. Can we include hyperlinks in the text of our application documents?
    • Yes, you may include hyperlinks to websites, though EDA does not guarantee that reviewers will click into the links.
  9. What is EDA expecting for the Risk Mitigation plan?†
    • The Overarching Risk Mitigation plan should include the Tech Hub’s cybersecurity plan (including how they are acquiring, funding, and coordinating the services of a cybersecurity and threat intelligence firm), critical infrastructure security plan (i.e., how they plan to physically protect Tech Hubs-funded projects and related critical infrastructure), intellectual property (IP) protection and technology control plan (including but not limited to an agreement governing IP management among consortium members), personnel security plan, and investment security plan (i.e., how they plan to prevent potential adversaries from exploiting investment to undermine U.S. national security and economic competitiveness). The plans may also address how the consortium is addressing other vulnerabilities or threats, including supply chain, research, operational, or other security.
    • The Component Project Risk Mitigation plan should describe the specific cybersecurity, critical infrastructure security, intellectual property security, personnel security, and investment security activities relevant to the Component Project and aligned with the Overarching Risk Mitigation Plan.
    • EDA advises that Tech Hubs explore the Safeguarding Science webpage developed by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which includes resources to help the scientific community protect against the theft and misuse of emerging technologies.
  10. Should component projects under the category “infrastructure” only consist of construction projects? Should non-construction projects also be categorized as "infrastructure"?* (Question added on 11/9/2023)
    • All projects categorized as “infrastructure” must consist of the building of facilities and site connectivity infrastructure to carry out activities under the other three project categories: workforce development, business and entrepreneur development, and technology development and maturation.
    • Site connectivity infrastructure means localized driveways and access roads to a facility as well as hookups to the new facility for drinking water, waste water, broadband, and other basic infrastructure services already present in the area.
  11. Is our consortium allowed to change our strategy or focus between Phase 1 and Phase 2? (Question added on 11/20/2023)
    • Strategy development and refinement are allowed and any changes should be explained in the Overarching Narrative. If your consortium is considering a substantial pivot, which EDA discourages, please email your Tech Hubs team Point of Contact (POC) and [email protected].
  12. Does our Hub need to submit four component projects for each of the four broad categories of eligible activities (workforce development, business and entrepreneur development, technology development and maturation, and related infrastructure activities)? (Question added on 11/20/2023)
    • No. This is not a requirement. You can select which areas to focus your component projects based on your regional strategy. You can also have multiple component projects align with one broad category. The Overarching Narrative should describe proposed projects and justify why those projects are strongly linked to the Hub’s success and how that success could not be realized but for these projects. See page 11 of the NOFO.
  13. Are there specific investment or policy commitments that EDA is looking for? (Question added on 12/5/2023)
    • Commitments can come in a variety of forms and should fit the needs and assets of your region. For commitment examples, see page 17 of the NOFO and the Tech Hubs Commitment Menu posted on and in Kiteworks. (If you need access to Kiteworks, ask your RIO or equivalent to email [email protected] on your behalf.)
  14. Are applicants required to hire a third-party cybersecurity and threat intelligence firm (referenced on p.24 of the NOFO)?  When in relation to the application deadline would we need to hire these firms?† (Question added on 12/29/2023)
    • Applicants should provide evidence or otherwise demonstrate that they have acquired substantially similar services of sufficient quality to ensure that relevant organizations in the consortium are mitigating cybersecurity risks and monitoring threats, not only at the lead organization or at some organizations individually but also across all relevant consortium members. See 2 CFR 200.317 – 200.327.
    • Applicants need not have acquired these services prior to award (and may not use EDA funds to pay for pre-award activities). However, applicants should describe their existing cybersecurity risk mitigation framework and how these services would be additive and complementary to existing mitigations.
    • Applicants may use EDA funds to pay for post-award cybersecurity and threat intelligence services and activities.
  15. Can applicants submit one component project application comprising both non-construction and construction activities?* (Question added on 1/18/2024)
    • If the non-construction activities are directly related to the construction activities, and are managed by the same Component Project Lead, they may be submitted as one component project and completed sequentially (e.g., the construction activities occur before the non-construction activities start).
    • Please note, EDA may request you to separate these into two projects at a later date for administrative purposes. If submitting as one component project, please submit it as a construction application and include the additional non-construction application requirements under the project narrative upload section or anywhere deemed appropriate. Please clearly name your project files with the document requirement name. See the NOFO pp. 24-31 for the full list of application requirements for both construction and non-construction projects.
  16. Is equipment installation considered construction?* (Question added on 1/18/2024)
    • The answer depends on the specific scenario and the extent of the disturbance. If you are uncertain, please send your Tech Hubs Project Officer the following information so we can advise on the component application type (construction vs. non-construction) you need to submit: 1) a description of the activities, 2) the estimated cost of the activities, 3) if the proposed activities trigger Davis-Bacon prevailing wage requirements, and 4) if the proposed activities trigger any environmental or historic preservation requirements.
  17. Is the cybersecurity and threat intelligence firm that Hubs procure responsible for providing services for all five risk mitigation factors or only for cybersecurity?† (Question added on 1/18/2024)
    • The NOFO only requires Hubs to provide evidence of their acquiring, funding, and coordinating third-party services for their cybersecurity plan – not all five risk mitigation factors. However, Hubs should address all five risk mitigation areas in their Overarching Risk Mitigation Plan and may choose to use the firm’s services for the other risk mitigation factors as well.
  18. For commitments documentation, do we need to provide the name of the individual in charge of the commitment, or is the providing position/role enough? (Question added on 1/18/2024)
    • Per the Submission Guidance for Commitments (PDF), published January 2024, provide the name (if staffed) of the individual who will ensure the commitment is met. If the position is not staffed, providing the name of the position is sufficient.
  19. How is a beneficiary defined in relation to the ED-900B – Beneficiary Information Form? (Question added on 1/18/2024)
    • Beneficiaries are entities who will directly benefit from an EDA investment and who translate the benefit into jobs created or private investment generated. EDA considers an employer to be a “primary beneficiary” if: (i) the employer is specifically named in the application as benefitting from the project, and the applicant estimates that the employer will create or save 100 or more permanent jobs as a result of the investment assistance; or (ii) the employer is or will be located in an EDA-assisted building, port, facility, or industrial, commercial, or business park constructed or improved in whole or in part with investment assistance prior to EDA’s final disbursement of funds. See p.44 of the NOFO (PDF).
  20. The NOFO asks component projects to submit Risk Mitigation Plans "if applicable." Are there guidelines or criteria to guide which projects will or will not require a Component Project Risk Mitigation Plan?† (Question added on 1/31/2024)
    • A component project should include a Risk Mitigation Plan if there are risks specific to that project. If you are not submitting a Risk Mitigation Plan for any given component project, EDA recommends you submit a simple Word or PDF document that states the sentence “Additional risks do not arise from this component project."
    • Note that EDA may request the development of a Component Project Risk Mitigation Plan during the negotiation period or through Special Award Conditions.
  21. To what degree does EDA want Risk Mitigation Plans to go into detail about "other" risks particular to a given Tech Hub, as opposed to focusing on the five specific risk categories identified in the NOFO (p.24)?† (Question added on 1/31/2024)
    • Hubs are required to include content related to the five specific risk categories outlined in the NOFO; other categories are not required. However, given that Hubs are most familiar with their projects and potential threat landscape, EDA encourages Hubs to include other relevant risk considerations, including those that are specific to their geography, technology, or member organizations.
  22. When Hubs consider “Personnel Security,” what specific risk elements should Hubs be focused on?† (Question added on 1/31/2024)
    • The Personnel Security plan should detail how consortium members are identifying the criticality and sensitivity of job positions and how they are conducting vetting of personnel both before hiring and on an ongoing basis, including from an insider risk perspective.
  23. Would EDA prefer that each Component Project Lead manage their own security protocols and IT components independently, or that the Lead Consortium Member manage these for all Component Projects?† (Question added on 1/31/2024)
    • Please apply whichever model makes sense for your consortium. EDA does not have a preference beyond the application requirements included in the NOFO.
  24. Can the Component Project Risk Mitigation Plans refer to narrative content from the Overarching Risk Mitigation Plan, adding in any additional elements specific to that Component Project (possibly making plans less than 6 pages)?† (Question added on 1/31/2024)
    • Yes, this is allowed.
  25. Can we use a smaller font size for tables, figures, or captions in our application? (Question added on 2/20/2024)
    • Yes, you can use a smaller font size for tables, figures, or captions. Please be reasonable. Narrative text should be at least 12-point font size. (See NOFO p.24.)
  26. For Tech Hubs in states that require SPOC compliance, is it sufficient to obtain one SPOC letter for the entire Tech Hub? Or does each Component Project application need its own SPOC letter? (Question added on 2/20/2024)
    • Please submit a SPOC letter for each Component Project. This is because some Component Projects will have different service areas than their Tech Hub’s core geography.
  27. What is the expected start date for the period of performance? (Question added on 2/20/2024)
    • EDA expects to announce Phase 2 awardees in summer 2024, with the period of performance starting soon after. We recommend you choose a start date no earlier than in Fall 2024. The Tech Hubs team will confirm the appropriate start date with you as part of due diligence or negotiations prior to any award. 
  28. Which types of entities are required to submit organizational documentation? (Question added on 2/20/2024)
    • Not-for-profit entities that are Lead Consortium Members, Component Project Leads, Co-applicants, or Subrecipients, and that are not institutions of higher education, should provide proof of eligibility, such as articles of incorporation, bylaws, and a current certificate of good standing.
  29. We would like to submit a Design and Engineering application, which application option should we choose in EDGE? (Question added on 2/20/2024)
    • Please fill out the “Construction” Application in EDGE. Refer to the table titled “Summary of Required Documentation for Each Component Project” beginning on page 27 of the NOFO for the required documentation. For anything not required under the Design and Engineering requirements list, please feel free to not upload or upload a document that says “N/A”.
  30. Should we submit the Overarching Narrative as a separate application, without a budget? (Question added on 2/23/2024)
    • Yes. The Overarching Narrative (and its associated documentation detailed on page 24 of the NOFO) should be submitted as one application under the “Overarching Application.”
    • The Overarching Narrative should NOT have a budget attached to it. Consortium governance costs should be integrated into one or multiple component projects.
    • Each of your component projects should be submitted as separate applications. Pages 25 and 26 of the NOFO detail the documents required for various types of construction and non-construction component projects.
  31. Should the Component Project Leads all be "co-applicants"? (Question added on 2/23/2024)
  32. Is there a need to repeat content across the Overarching Application and the Component Project Narratives, or across two or more Component Project Narratives that are related (e.g. a construction project and a non-construction project with programming)? (Question added on 2/23/2024)
    • EDA recommends that applicants include at least some baseline content across components for reviewers. However, you can reference elements or text from your other applications without necessarily repeating the full content. For example, Component Projects may reference risk mitigation elements from the Overarching Narrative or reference text from another related Component Project.
  33. Is there a need to repeat content from the Phase 1 Case for Designation? (Question added on 2/23/2024)
    • No, applicants are not required to repeat content from their Phase 1 Case for Designation. However, applicants should not assume Phase 2 reviewers have read their Phase 1 Case for Designation, and may find it helpful to restate elements of their Phase 1 Case for Designation to contextualize and strengthen their Phase 2 application and are welcome to do so. In any case, the Phase 2 application package must address the Phase 2 NOFO requirements comprehensively.
  34. Is the Executive Order 12372 (Single Point of Contact (SPOC)) requirement based on where the applicant organization is located OR where the project service area is located? (Question added on 2/23/2024)
    • The SPOC requirement is based on where the project service area is located.
    • If any part of the Component Project’s service area is located in a state that requires SPOC compliance, EDA will need to see evidence of SPOC compliance attached to the component application(s).
    • See this question further detailing SPOC compliance.

Procurement and Pre-Award Costs

  1. Can my consortium use consultants for preliminary engineering or environmental reports as part of Phase 2 implementation activities?* (Question updated 12/29/2023)
    • Yes. All use of consultants is subject to the following requirements:
    • The Procurement Standards of the Uniform Guidance at 2 CFR 200.317 – 200.327 govern all procurements under Tech Hubs. The “Competition” regulation at 2 CFR 200.319 sets out the general rule for federal financial assistance that contractors that develop or draft specifications, requirements, statements of work, or invitations for bids or requests for proposals must be excluded from competing for such procurements. In the context of Tech Hubs, this means that a professional engineer or architect that undertakes preliminary design activities for the project, including a Preliminary Engineering Report (PER) for an EDA application, must be excluded from bidding on the same work under an EDA award.
    • In accordance with 2 CFR 200.317, only state recipients are expressly exempt from this procurement restriction. Local governments and Indian Tribes may also take advantage of the procurement exemption in certain narrow circumstances.
    • Practically speaking this means that if a recipient has a selection process that will involve two separate competitions—one solicitation and contract for undertaking preliminary design for a project and then a separate solicitation and contract to select a contractor for final design activities—the successful contractor that undertakes preliminary design (including developing the PER) would be excluded from competing for final design under a Phase 2 award.
    • There are options to help avoid unintentionally excluding contractors by helping to make sure all competing contractors are on equal footing from the beginning:
      • In designing the solicitation for design and engineering services, make sure to include a broad array of such services that will be required under Tech Hubs, including preliminary and final design. The consortium may also wish to specify that if the preliminary design is successful and the consortium is selected for an award, final design work is anticipated. The solicitation should also cover the expected funding level and performance period that will be required under Tech Hubs.
      • If a consortium already has a contractor on an existing general or broad services contract that would cover all anticipated tasks required to develop an application and to implement an award under Phase 2 of Tech Hubs and that was competed consistent with the Procurement Standards of the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200.317 – 200.327), the contractor exclusion requirement may not be an issue. Please note that in this situation the contract must be competed regularly—in general, the performance period should extend no longer than five years. In addition, the services must be within the scope of the existing contract, as interpreted by EDA.
    • The PER does not need to be filled out by a third party, though it should be completed by an engineer or architect.
    • Please reach out to [email protected] further questions.
    • See EDA’s Procurement Guide (PDF) for more information.
  2. Can an applicant go out to bid for proposed implementation projects before being selected for an Implementation grant? (Question updated 12/5/2023)
    • In general, an applicant can start necessary solicitation processes before a Phase 2 implementation award, but the applicant must understand it is proceeding at its own risk and there is no guarantee of a federal award. The applicant should take this risk into account in the contracting process as appropriate (e.g., by making the contract contingent upon successfully obtaining a federal award, options, etc.). If an applicant does receive a federal award, please note that a procurement must be compliant with the procurement standards set out at 2 CFR 200.317 – 200.327 to be eligible for reimbursement.
    • See EDA’s Procurement Guide (PDF) for more information.
  3. If our consortium was awarded the Phase 1 Strategy Development award, can we use it to solicit consulting services for multiple projects under a single solicitation? (Question updated 12/5/2023)
    • Yes. The applicant may advertise for services needed for multiple projects, so long as the procurement is compliant with the procurement standards of 2 CFR 200.317 – 200.327, including 2 CFR 200.319 (which, among other things, requires that the solicitation incorporate a clear and accurate description of the technical requirements and does not contain features that unduly restrict competition).
    • Please see this question in this section for important information about the competitive procurement restrictions for contractors that develop a PER for a project and then compete for design, and for important considerations to avoid unintentionally excluding contractors. Also, see this question in this section for important considerations about advertising before receiving a federal award.
    • See EDA’s Procurement Guide (PDF) for more information.
  4. Can Designees use Phase 1 Strategy Development Grant (SDG) awards for Phase 2 application preparation costs? (Question added on 11/9/2023)
    • Yes. If your consortium received an SDG award in Phase 1, you may use it to cover Phase 2 application preparation costs. Phase 2 Implementation awards may not be used to backfill Phase 2 application preparation costs under any circumstance.
  5. How are contractual services provided by consortium members treated in the implementation of Strategy Development Grants? (Question updated 12/5/2023)
    • In cases where entities within the consortium are identified within the budget as providing specialized services (e.g., advisory services by a technological expert), staffing, etc., those entities are treated like subrecipients for the purpose of this award. This treatment does not apply to contracts for the provision of generically available goods and services (valued above $10,000) by entities outside of the consortium. Such general goods and services should be procured using the standards described at 2 CFR 200317-200.327. For additional guidance on subrecipient and contractor determinations, please review 2 CFR 200.331 (Subrecipient and contractor determinations).
    • See EDA’s Procurement Guide (PDF) for more information.
  6. Can the A/E firm contracted by a government entity prepare the PER and the final design work if the firm was already on the government’s approved listing of professional services providers on task order contract?*  (Question added on 12/29/2023)
    • In accordance with 2 CFR 200.317, only state recipients are expressly exempt from this procurement restriction. Local governments and Indian Tribes may also take advantage of the exemption in two narrow circumstances: (i) if they are required (by statute, for example) to follow the State’s procurement rules in full and without exception; or (ii) if they are required to follow a specific State procurement rule that creates an explicit conflict with the prohibition in 2 CFR 200.319(a) (i.e., there is a statute that requires or permits the local government or Indian Tribe to award the final procurement to the same contractor that developed the draft specifications).
    • If the entity who procured the firm that handled the PER is not a state, but a local government, they would need to show they are required to follow the state’s procurement rules in full and without exception, or they are required to follow a specific state procurement rule that creates an explicit conflict with the prohibition in 2 CFR 200.319(a).
    • Absent one of these two scenarios, the local government or Indian Tribe must comply with the prohibition. Applicants are encouraged to contact EDA using the contact information in Section G. of this Phase 1 NOFO with any questions regarding application of this regulation.
  7. Are there particular criteria we should consider when deciding which cybersecurity and threat intelligence vendor to hire, such as domestic location or level of security? Should we name the vendor we intend to hire in our Risk Mitigation Plan(s), or can we just list the criteria we plan to use when hiring? (Question added 1/31/2024)
    • EDA requires all vendor procurement to follow federal procurement standards (see EDA’s Procurement Guide (PDF)). Otherwise, it is up to the Hub to decide how they will choose a cybersecurity and threat intelligence vendor that helps them meet the requirements of the grant.
    • If you have already undergone the procurement process and chosen a vendor (and can provide thorough documentation as described in EDA’s Procurement Guide (PDF)), you should name the vendor in your Plan. If you have not yet done so, you should describe the criteria you will use to select a vendor to fulfill your contract.
    • Also see this related FAQ on hiring a cybersecurity and threat intelligence vendor.

Compliance and Budget

  1. How will reimbursement be handled for Phase 2?* (Question updated 2/20/2024)
    • All Phase 2 construction projects will be paid on a reimbursement basis unless EDA approves a request for advance payment. Requests for advance payment will only be granted in rare and compelling circumstances for construction projects. Once the Phase 2 recipient has cleared all preconditions for reimbursement (e.g., demonstrating proof of title, recording a statement of the federal interest), the recipient may submit contractor invoices along with form SF-271, Outlay Report and Request for Reimbursement for Construction Programs. EDA will determine the allowable share of the invoiced costs and then reimburse the recipient for the federal share of those costs. Please note that regardless of the costs incurred, EDA will retain 10% of the federal award amount until project closeout to ensure compliance with all grant requirements.
    • Specific reimbursement schedules will be negotiated through Special Award Conditions and will generally be made in incremental installments as projects progress (e.g., reimbursements at the 25%, 50%, 75% and 90% project milestones). It is important to plan for this cashflow accordingly.
    • For non-construction projects, EDA will default to an advance method of payment. EDA will consider requests for a non-construction grantee to use a reimbursement model on a case-by-case basis. Under the Advance method, grantees can request advance payments up to 30 days of expected expenses and then will be required to report on actual expenses incurred during the last advance period.
  2. What timeline should be used for component project budgets and timelines? (Question updated 12/5/2023)
    • The period of performance for a Phase 2 Implementation project may vary depending on the scope of work. EDA expects that most projects will range from 24 to 60 months and that all projects will proceed efficiently and expeditiously.
  3. Can we use funds from another federal grant to meet our matching share requirement?
    • In general, funds from other federal grants may not be used to meet matching share requirements. Funds from other federal financial assistance awards may be considered matching share funds only if authorized by statute, which may be determined by EDA’s reasonable interpretation of the statute. If so authorized, the use of funds must be eligible under the respectiv­e programs.
  4. Can other federal agency grants be used toward a 10% match requirement, if applicable? (Question added on 11/9/2023)
    • In general, funds from other federal grants may not be used to satisfy matching requirements. However, funds from some federal financial assistance laws specifically authorize their use in meeting other federal grants’ matching requirements, and this language may be included in the fund award. In these instances, these funds may be used to satisfy the match requirement, subject to EDA’s reasonable interpretation of the statute. When including these and other federal funds in your project budget, please cite the Federal program name, statute, and program contact information to facilitate interagency coordination and avoid duplication of federal resources. Reach out to [email protected] and your Tech Hubs primary Point of Contact (POC) if you have questions.
  5. What overall budget range should we target? (Question added on 11/9/2023)
    • In Phase 2, EDA expects to award total of approximately $470 million in implementation funding. EDA expects to awarding implementation funding to 5-10 Hubs. If 10 Hubs receive Phase 2 funding, they would each receive an average of approximately $45 million. If fewer Hubs receive implementation funding in Phase 2, the average funding per Hub would be higher.
  6. When calculating the minimum match requirement, does the match rate apply for each component project budget, or is it calculated across the entire application and total funding request amount? (Question added on 11/20/2023)
    • Applicants should calculate the match requirement across all component projects. E.g., you could propose Component Project A for $100 ($40 federal, $60 match), Component Project B for $200 ($200 federal, $0 match), and Component Project C for $300 ($300 federal, $0 match) for a total request of $600 ($540 federal, $60 match) that meets the 10% match requirement. However, you must meet your minimum match rate even if EDA does not select every component project for funding,. This could mean you would need to identify match funds to support a project (in a short period of time) to meet the required overall match rate. E.g., if EDA selects your Hub for funding but only selects Component Projects B and C, you will need to shift the $60 in match associated with Component Project A to one or both of Component Projects B and C or otherwise identify additional matching funds to meet the minimum match requirement.
  7. How does EDA distinguish between matching funds and investment commitments? (Question added on 11/20/2023)
    • Matching funds (cash or in-kind) contribute directly to the operations of the proposed scope of work. EDA will a) monitor matching funds for compliance with uniform guidance as set forth in 2 CFR part 200 and b) track the burn rates of federal share and matching funds. EDA generally expects recipients to maintain burn rates proportionally to the grant rate to reduce the risk that a recipient provides less matching funds than required, which may require the recipient to return disbursed grant funding to EDA. See page 22 of the NOFO for a list of required documentation to demonstrate sufficient matching funds.
    • Investment commitments are financial investments that contribute to Tech Hubs’ development and strategic goals and which may or may not be directly connected to Component Projects. Investment commitments are not subject to grants management compliance monitoring but should be included in progress reporting to EDA. These commitments are not subject to 2 CFR part 200. See NOFO p.19 and p.34 for more details on commitments.
  8. Can ARPA state fiscal recovery funds be used toward the match requirement? (Question added on 12/5/2023)
    • Yes, if characterized as “revenue loss” under the Treasury’s final rule. See page 43 here (PDF). In your application, make sure to articulate the specific type of State and Local Fiscal Recovery (SLFRF) funds you intend to use as match so we can be sure it is indeed covered under the Treasury’s final rule.
  9. Can waived indirect costs be used toward the match requirement? (Question added on 12/5/2023)
    • It is possible to use waived indirect costs to satisfy the match requirement. Waived indirect costs are the difference between the amount charged to the Federal award and the amount which could have been charged to the Federal award under the recipient’s approved negotiated indirect cost rate. Such costs should be clearly identified as match in the budget and are subject to pre-approval by the Grants Officer, who will consider the magnitude of the indirect cost rate in their decision. EDA will contact you if there is an issue with the match. If you have specific questions, contact your POC.
  10. Can equipment costs be used toward the match requirement? (Question updated on 12/29/2023)
    • Yes. Equipment costs are eligible for federal award and therefore can be used toward the match requirement, valued at fair market value and categorized as an in-kind contribution. Remember, equipment is defined by federal code as exceeding $5,000 per unit AND has a useful life greater than 1 year. Equipment purchases require: competitive procurement (evidence of at least 3 different bids), development and signature of a Security Agreement with EDA, and evidence that your organization has a valid UCC-1 on file with your State. Be sure to include detailed valuations in your budget narrative.
    • Cost of equipment purchased before the start of the period of performance can count as match. However, when valuing the equipment for match, you must incorporate depreciation, valuing the equipment at the time of award, not at the time of purchase.
    • Note that all equipment expenses used as match are also required to fulfill all procurement and equipment requirements as stated in the Specific Award Conditions (including a Security Agreement with EDA and a UCC-1 filing with your state).
  11. Can my subrecipient use their own indirect cost rate (ICR) in a subaward? (Question added on 12/5/2023)
    • While the overall budget for each component project must follow the ICR appropriate to its Component Project Lead, a subrecipient can use their own ICR in their subaward at the discretion of the of the Component Project Lead.
  12. If my organization elects to use the de minimis indirect cost rate (ICR), how should I calculate the base cost? (Question added on 12/5/2023)
    • If using the de minimis indirect cost rate, you would use the Modified Total Direct Cost (MTDC) as your base. MTDC is defined in 2 CFR 200.1. MTDC includes: all direct salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each subaward. MTDC excludes: equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each subaward in excess of $25,000 (including contracts).
  13. Can property be leased rather than owned for construction purposes?* (Question updated on 2/23/2024)
    • Yes, while it is preferable that all EDA construction activities be located on property owned by an eligible applicant, it is possible to construct subject to a long-term lease so long as the value of the lease does not exceed fair market value. EDA must review the lease to determine whether its terms and conditions adequately safeguard the Federal government’s interest in the property. The property and improved infrastructure provided through the EDA investment must be administered, operated, and maintained for the useful life of the property, subject to the exceptions listed at 13 C.F.R. § 314.7(c).
    • Further, as a general requirement, the property owner or lessee must either be the lead applicant or a co-applicant on all EDA assistance awards that will support design, engineering, or construction activity.
    • In instances where an applicant is leasing the property, we suggest that the actual owner join the project as a co-recipient.
    • Any leasing or renting of any facilities or property involved in this Project will be subject to the following: (a)  That said lease arrangement is consistent with the authorized general and special purpose of the Award; (b) That said lease arrangement is for adequate consideration; (c) That said lease arrangement is consistent with applicable EDA requirements concerning but not limited to nondiscrimination and environmental compliance; and (d) That all revenue derived from said leasing arrangement shall be subject to 2 C.F.R. § 200.307 (Program income).
  14. Is the renovation of an existing building interior considered “construction”?* (Question added on 12/29/2023)
    • Yes. Generally, when there is proposed disturbance of existing physical conditions, a construction project application is required.
  15. Will EDA evaluate an application with a match ratio above 10% more favorably than an application with only the minimum 10% match requirement? (Question added 1/18/2024)
    • No, exceeding the minimum 10% match requirement (which does not apply to Tribal government-led applications) will not impact the competitiveness of an application. Match is an eligibility requirement.
    • However, EDA will evaluate the nature and magnitude of investment and policy commitments, which will impact an application’s competitiveness. (See the evaluation criterion “Investment and policy commitments,” section E.1.a.3 at pp. 34-35 (PDF) of the NOFO and the Supplemental Guidance on Commitments (PDF) for what makes a high-quality commitment.)
    • If you have funds to contribute to your mix of projects that total more than the required minimum match, consider whether those funds could constitute commitments instead of excess match. See this question regarding the difference between matching funds and investment commitments.
    • Note that applicants will be responsible for their full match submitted in their application, even if it exceeds 10% minimum.
  16. How should Hubs document match contributions stemming from loans or bonds? (Question added 1/18/2024)
    • If using bonds as match, the applicant must provide documentation of its counsel opinion of the bonding authority and eligibility of the bonds for use as match, along with full disclosure of the type of bonds and the schedule of the applicant’s bond issue. Include this with your match commitment letter.
    • The use of loans as match does not necessitate special documentation beyond what is noted in p.22 of the NOFO (PDF).
    • As with any match commitment, EDA encourages you to summarize it in a commitment index (see the Submission Guidance for Commitments (PDF), published January 2024) and reflect the match amount in relevant budget narratives.
  17. What is the allowable construction contingency percentage?* (Question added 1/18/2024)
    • The risk of uncertainty leading to potential cost overruns is unique to each individual construction project. The applicant should choose an appropriate contingency percentage and provide the basis for the contingency within the estimated construction cost section the PER. EDA historically adheres to a ~10% construction contingency rate, but given the complexity and technical specificity of Tech Hubs projects, applicants may justify a higher contingency rate.
  18. Is the NOFO’s guidance on total budget (approximately $40-75 million) inclusive of the 10% match? (Question added 1/18/2024)
    • No. The NOFO’s guidance on total budget is for the 90% federal (EDA) share only. The 10% matching share dollars are additional. This means the overarching budget for a Hub could be above $75 million when summing the federal and matching share. Here is an example:
      • Total Project Budget: $77M
      • Federal Share: $69.3M
      • Match Share: $7.7M
  19. Do only the Lead Consortium Member and Component Project Leads need to submit the SF-328 form? What about co-applicants? Do all sub-awardees and/or all consortia members need to submit it? (Question added 1/31/2024)
    • At time of submission, EDA only requires SF-328 forms from the Lead Consortium Member and Component Project Leads. (For those rare component projects led by Co-Applicants, Co-Applicants must also submit the form using the supplemental document submission section of EDGE.) However, EDA reserves the right to ask for SF-328 forms from other consortium members, subrecipients, or entities making commitments to the Hub as part of due diligence, negotiations, or at any time prior to or after award.
  20. Can our Hub collect fees/revenue (program income) as part of a component project? (Question added 2/20/2024)
    • Under a non-construction project, this program does not prohibit collecting fees from the public, but, if awarded, the grant terms and conditions may have stipulations on the use of revenue derived from the activity supported through the award. Per EDA policy on match eligibility, you cannot include estimated revenue as part of the required match. Please see Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200.307.
    • Under a construction project, any revenue derived from EDA funded property improvements or equipment during its Useful Life constitutes program income. The grantee must use program income generated from the project in order of the following priority: (a) Administration, operation, and maintenance of the project facilities during their Useful Life; and (b) Economic development projects that are authorized for support by EDA, provided such projects are within the designated project region. Grantees must seek approval from EDA before deriving any program income and inform EDA of any changes to the plan during the Useful Life of the project. In accordance with 2 CFR 200.307, excess program income generated during the period of performance must be deducted from total allowable program costs.
    • If your program has the potential for program income, please make note in the Budget Narrative in a narrative form. Do NOT include potential program income in your proposed federal share or non-federal share budget calculations.
  21. If the Lead Consortium Member is not a Tribal Entity, but a Component Project Lead is a Tribal Entity, will the 10% match requirement be waived? (Question added 2/23/2024)
    • No. You will still need to meet the 10% match rate across the entire consortium level, though any given component project could propose a $0 match if it is made up for by a higher match for a different component project. See this question on applying match across the entire application.

Eligible Uses of Award Funds

  1. Can Phase 2 funding capitalize a venture capital fund to fund start-ups or organizations unknown at the time of submission? (Question added on 11/20/2023)
    • No. This is not an allowable expense. EDA funds cannot be used to capitalize a venture fund or otherwise be used to take equity stakes in companies.
  2. Can Phase 2 funding be used for a consortium-run competitive grant program, managed by a grantee, to share EDA funds with organizations unknown at the time of application submission? (Question added on 11/20/2023)
    • Yes, this may be an allowable expense depending on the program’s design. Applicants considering this should discuss their approach with their program officer and ensure they have organizational capacity to both a) manage their own set of grantees requesting funds from and reporting to them, and b) to request funds from and report up to EDA.
  3. Can funds from Strategy Development Awards be allocated to subawards and consultant activities? How are contractual services provided by consortium members treated in the implementation of Strategy Development Grants? (Question added on 11/20/2023)
    • Yes, funds from Strategy Development Awards can be allocated to subawards and consultant activities. EDA does not require subaward agreement submissions in cases where entities within the consortium are identified within the budget as providing specialized services (e.g., technology expert consulting), staffing, etc. Small purchase and public bid procedures still apply to contracts for the provision of generically available good and services (valued above $10,000) by entities outside of the consortium. Such general goods and services should be procured using the standards described at 2 CFR 200.317-200.327. For additional guidance on subrecipient and contractor determinations, please review 2 CFR 200.331 (Subrecipient and contractor determinations).
  4. Is the Lead Consortium Member eligible to receive funding? How can the Lead Consortium Member fund governance-related activities (e.g., RIO salary)? (Question added on 11/20/2023)
    • The Lead Consortium Member can request funding through a proposed component project, either as the lead of that project (if they plan to administer the project) or as a sub-grantee on the project (if another organization will administer the project). Governance-related activities (e.g., RIO salary) should be submitted as an independent (non-construction) component project or as part of other (non-construction) component projects. Please ensure your budget narratives clearly define all activities involved in each project.
  5. Is a for-profit, private sector organization eligible to receive funding? (Question added on 12/5/2023)
    • Yes.
  6. Are prize competitions an eligible use of award funds? (Question added on 12/5/2023)
    • No. Prize competitions, as defined in 15 USC 3719, are not allowed.
  7. Can we allocate funding in project budgets to cover in-person convenings related to our Tech Hub? (Question added on 12/5/2023)
    • Yes.
  8. Can Phase 2 funding be used for wage subsidies to employers for employment or on-the-job training? (Question added on 12/29/2023)
    • No. Tech Hubs funds may not be used to pay wage subsidies to employers for ongoing employment or on-the-job training. However, see this question on allowable wraparound services costs.
    • This prohibition on wage subsidies does not affect the allowability of personnel costs for delivery of a Tech Hubs-funded project's scope of work, including where the recipient or subrecipient is a private, for-profit entity.
  9. Can Phase 2 funding be used for research activities? (E.g., hiring grad students to do research, materials for experiments, feasibility studies for new technologies, clinical trials, etc.) (Question added on 12/29/2023)
    • The Tech Hubs program is not intended to fund basic research activities, e.g., studies of a technology’s basic properties or components, proof-of-concept development, or laboratory demonstrations.  
    • Tech Hubs funding should be used to increase the speed and effectiveness with which industry and other organizations transition technologies upward from Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs) six through nine (generally, validation, demonstration, and production). Associated activities include but are not limited to clinical trials, prototype testing in simulated and operational environments, IP protection and licensing, quality assurance testing of final design, and production at scale.
    • Project costs (personnel, equipment, construction, etc.) relevant to technology maturation should enable activities within TRLs six through nine. This focus is central to the program’s goal to advance the capacities of places to commercialize, deploy, and domestically manufacture and deliver these technologies.
  10. Are cloud service credits an eligible use of award funds or match? (Question added on 1/18/2024)
    • No, cloud service credits are not an eligible use of award funds or match.
  11. Are lease costs an eligible use of award funds or match contribution? (Question added on 2/23/2024)
    • Yes. Lease costs are both an eligible use of award funds and match contribution.
    • In either case, the amount applied to the budget (under the ‘Other” category) should be proportionate to the amount of lease time the project will use. (E.g., If the space will be used for the project 5 days a week, 8 hours per day, then EDA will be willing to pay or accept match contribution for 100% of the lease cost. If the space will be used for the project 3 days a week, 8 hours per day, then EDA will be willing to pay or accept match contribution for 60% of the lease.)
    • Please provide commentary and provide a copy of the lease agreement in your supplemental files, as EDA will make sure it aligns with fair market value conditions in your project geography.
  12. Are lease costs an eligible use of award funds or match contribution? (Question added on 2/23/2024)
    • Yes. Lease costs are both an eligible use of award funds and match contribution.
    • In either case, the amount applied to the budget (under the ‘Other” category) should be proportionate to the amount of lease time the project will use. (E.g., If the space will be used for the project 5 days a week, 8 hours per day, then EDA will be willing to pay or accept match contribution for 100% of the lease cost. If the space will be used for the project 3 days a week, 8 hours per day, then EDA will be willing to pay or accept match contribution for 60% of the lease.)
    • Please provide commentary and provide a copy of the lease agreement in your supplemental files, as EDA will make sure it aligns with fair market value conditions in your project geography.
    • Note that the lease arrangement must be consistent with applicable EDA requirements concerning but not limited to nondiscrimination and environmental compliance; and that all revenue derived from said leasing arrangement shall be subject to 2 C.F.R. § 200.307 (Program income).

Grant Evaluation and Administration

  1. Will all submitted component projects be funded if a Hub receives a Phase 2 award? Or will EDA fund only a selection of component projects submitted? (Question added on 11/9/2023)
    • Both are possible. If selected for an implementation grant, EDA could either award some of a consortium’s submitted component projects or all of them. If a project is not funded, EDA could consider funding it in future program rounds, if appropriated additional Tech Hubs funds.
  2. When will Phase 2 awards be announced? (Question added on 11/9/2023)
    • EDA expects to announce the Phase 2 awards in summer 2024.
  3. Will EDA cover wraparound services such as childcare, travel stipends for students to go to classes, or tuition stipends as part of a Phase 2 component project? (Question added on 11/9/2023)
    • EDA is committed to removing barriers for workers, particularly from underserved populations, to access quality training. In general, these types of costs may be allowable as part of a workforce development project, provided they meet the definition of “participant support costs.” See 2 CFR 200.1. The applicant must document that these costs are necessary and reasonable for participants to be able to participate in the program.
    • EDA’s preference is to cover these costs through a contracted service provider (for example, a childcare provider or a transportation provider) procured in accordance with the procurement standards of 2 CFR 200.317-200.327. However, in some cases it may not be possible or cost effective to do so. In these cases, EDA can approve providing stipends directly to participants for certain costs such as travel costs. The applicant must justify why the provision of stipends is the most cost-effective and reasonable method of covering these costs. Additionally, the applicant must have a method to estimate that the costs are closely related to the actual costs a participant incurs to participate in the program (for example, if the applicant’s proposed program is two days a week, EDA funds cannot be used to cover a participant’s travel for five days a week).
    • From a competitiveness perspective, applicants should consider which costs are best covered by EDA funds, and which are best covered by a strong financial commitment from a consortium member or other entity.
  4. Is each component project graded against all the evaluation criteria? Or is the entire application graded against all the evaluation criteria? (Question added on 11/20/2023)
    • o EDA will evaluate the entire Tech Hub application against the evaluation criteria. The Component Project Applications should be coherent with the Overarching Narrative. All Component Project Applications will be considered holistically in the context of the Overarching Narrative. For more details on competition criteria, please see NOFO 2 section E.1.
  5. Will implementation funding be offered on an advancement or reimbursement basis?* (Question updated on 2/20/2024)
  6. Can our consortium use the benefits of Designation, even if we don’t win implementation funds? (Question added on 11/20/2023)
    • Yes. EDA encourages all 31 Designated Tech Hubs to take advantage of the benefits of Designation. This applies to benefits already announced and those that will be announced at a future date.
  7. Will there be an in-person Tech Hubs convening during the period of performance? (Question added on 12/5/2023)
    • We expect to hold an in-person convening for Tech Hubs leaders in 2024, however plans are not final at this time.
  8. How will EDA evaluate Risk Mitigation Plans? What criteria will be used? Will EDA review the Overarching and Component Risk Mitigation Plans separately or collectively? (Question added on 1/31/2024)
    • The Risk Mitigation Plans are a starting point of an ongoing workstream to protect your Hub—your region, your institutions, your technologies, and your individuals—from threats that may arise from your Hub’s growth and success.  We expect Hubs to take Risk Mitigation Plans seriously and to consider in them the threats and risks that may be particular to your Hub as well as those that apply generally.  EDA and its U.S. Government partners will look at the extent to which Plans identify risks and corresponding means (policies, practices, etc.) of mitigating those risks across the consortium.  Recall that, per criterion 2 (“impact on economic and national security”), EDA will consider a number of questions, including “how robust is the Hub’s plan to protect U.S. national and economic security and mitigate risk?” (See NOFO section E.1.a.2 at p. 34.)
    • As with other aspects of proposals, EDA may negotiate with Hubs on Risk Mitigation Plans’ scopes and approaches during the Phase 2 evaluation period.  EDA also expects Hubs to update their Plans continually and may in collaboration with its U.S. Government partners request or require certain changes to those Plans as risks and threats arise and evolve.  Risks and threats are by their nature uncertain and are often changing.  All the Hubs are starting from the same baseline in creating these Plans, and EDA is committed to working with and supporting all Hubs as they implement their strategies, including in the negotiation and maintenance of these Plans.

Using the EDA Economic Development Grant Experience (EDGE) Portal

  1. What is the EDA Economic Development Grant Experience (EDGE) portal? (Question updated on 11/9/2023)
    • EDGE is the web platform via which you and EDA will manage the full lifecycle of your grant, from application to closeout. EDGE performs best on Firefox or Google Chrome browsers, with pop-ups allowed in order to view forms, reminders, and other important information.  Click here to see the EDGE Quick Reference Guide.
  2. Where do I apply for Phase 2 implementation grants?
    • Phase 2 applications are only open to Designated Tech Hubs. The Lead Consortium Member will receive an email from EDGE with a link to the Phase 2 NOFO. Lead Consortium Members should not share this link with consortium members as they will not be able to access it. To invite a consortium member to be a Component Project Lead, the Lead Consortium Member should email the Component Project Lead’s organizational information (organization name, organization’s primary Point of Contact (POC), UEI, and CAGE code from as soon as possible to [email protected]. Component Project Leads will then receive their own link to apply for a component project from EDGE. This private link will be linked to your Lead Consortium application. All Component Project Leads will need to be registered in EDGE (with an active UEI) prior to submission of application by the deadline.
  3. Our consortium hired a Regional Innovation Officer (RIO) after submitting our Phase 1 application. Where should we include their resume in the application?
    • As part of your “Overarching” application submitted by the Lead Consortium Member, there is an optional upload for “Key Personnel”. We recommend you upload the RIO’s Resume here.
  4. How do I update or change the Authorized Representative for my consortium?
    • An Authorized Representative is considered to be a person with signatory authority for that organization. The Authorized Representative is the only person who can submit component applications or the overarching application. You can update the team roles per application by using the “Application Team” tab. By moving an Authorized Representative’s status from “current” to “former” you can add in a new Authorized Representative.
  5. How and where do I update or change any other points of contact for my consortium?
    • Using the “Associations” tab, please be sure to update your consortium members. Consortium members may need to verify their organization’s participation as part of the consortium. The invited member may need to provide basic organizational information including a Tax ID/EIN.
My Associations tab in Edge
  1. Do all consortia members need to be registered in EDGE?
    • For the Phase 2 application, only the Lead Consortium Member and the Component Project Leads need to register in EDGE. To create an account, you will need your organization’s UEI number, CAGE code, and basic contact information. Note that once an entity is registered in EDGE, they must join the consortium.
  2. How do I signal in EDGE that my consortium membership changed between Phase 1 and Phase 2?
    • Applicants should justify the change in the Overarching Narrative to the Phase 2 application. Please make sure your consortium is up to date in EDGE before submission using the “Associations” tab.
  3. How can I view my Phase 1 application in EDGE?
    • When you log into your home screen in EDGE, you should be able to click on the title of your funding request application. From there, you can see your entire submitted application. By scrolling over the fourth sub tab titled “application documents,” you should be able to download everything you’ve submitted.
  4. What do I do if my organization shares an EIN/TIN number with an entity that is already registered in EDGE?
    • EDA acknowledges that some organizations have units that serve different roles in supporting a consortium and that those units may share the same Employer Identification Number/Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN/TIN). The EDGE system does not allow for registering multiple organizations with the same EIN/TIN numbers. If this presents issues for a Lead Organization attempting to register in EDGE, please email [email protected] and [email protected] for support.  
  5. My organization’s information needs updating (such as UEI or CAGE code), how do I go about that?
  6. Is there a file naming convention we should follow as we submit files?  (Question added on 11/9/2023)
    • There is no formal file naming convention; however, please clearly name each submitted document and include your Hub name or acronym in all file names.
  7. I am the Consortium Lead – can I see the applications submitted by my component leads?  (Question added on 11/9/2023)
    • Yes. For the Consortium Lead to have visibility into the Component applications, the Component Project Lead must add the Consortium Lead as a “team member” to the application.
  8. How do I start an application for a component project in EDGE? (Question updated 2/20/2024)
    • The Lead Consortium Member should email [email protected] with the Component Project Lead information:
      • Organization Name
      • POC Name
      • POC Email
      • Tech Hub Name
      • UEI
      • CAGE Code from
      That recipient will receive an email from EDGE with their own custom application link for a new component project. Please note that once you provide a name for your component project, you cannot rename it without contacting our IT department.
  9. Can a single email address be associated with multiple EDGE accounts? (Question added on 2/23/2024)
    • No. An email address can only be associated with one EDGE account.
  10. Are all Component Projects to be uploaded independently into EDGE by the Component Lead Applicants? (Question added on 2/23/2024)

    • Yes. Each Component Project will require the Component Lead to get access to EDGE, create a new application, and submit that application.
  11. If one organization is leading multiple component projects, should they be uploaded and submitted independently? (Question added on 2/23/2024)

    • Yes, different projects should be submitted separately, even if they are submitted by the same organization.
    • You do not need a second invitation to EDGE to create multiple funding requests.
  12. Do we need to "connect" the component projects to the Overarching Narrative within the EDGE system? (Question added on 2/23/2024)

    • No, you do not need to do this. EDA will do this.
    • EDA encourages you to update your Consortium (in the EDGE “Associations” tab) to include the Component Leads.
  13. During the Phase 1 application we needed to register our consortium in the “Associations” tab in EDGE. Do we need to register/update our consortium there for the phase 2 application? (Question added on 2/23/2024)

    • No. While EDA encourages you to update your Consortium in the EDGE “Associations” tab to include the Component Project Leads, this is not required. (If your consortium Is selected for funding, EDA may request you update your consortium formally in EDGE.)
    • Separately, EDA has requesting an updated consortium list to be submitted as a supplemental file to your application. See template (XLSX).
  14. Do subawardees / subrecipients need to be registered in EDGE? (Question added on 2/23/2024) 

    • No. Subawardees / subrecipients are not required to be registered in EDGE at the time of submission. (Component Project Leads need to be registered in EDGE to submit an application.) The reporting and payment between a Component Project Lead and its subs is not administered in EDGE but is independently administered by the Component Project Lead(s).
    • If your consortium is selected for funding, EDA may ask that all consortium members register in EDGE.
  15. How do we give the Lead Consortium Member visibility into the component project applications? (Question added on 2/23/2024)

    • While not required, Component Leads are welcome to give Lead Consortium Members visibility by adding someone from the Consortium Lead Organization to your component application. This can be completed by inviting them to be a Team Member in EDGE. Please note, for all funding requests / applications, the Authorized Representative (AOR) must be from the Component Project Lead organization.
  16. What forms are web-based forms to be completed in EDGE, and what forms will need to be submitted as attachments to EDGE? (Question added on 2/23/2024)

    • The SF-424 and the SF-424A / SF-424C are incorporated into EDGE as web-based forms. All other forms must be submitted as Supplemental Documents in EDGE. See for downloadable forms:
    • Note that co-applicants will need to submit one of their SF-424 as a separate, uploaded attachment under the "co-applicant" upload section, as EDGE does not currently allow two different SF-424s to be filled out in web-based format.
  17. I have completed the application in EDGE but the submission button is “grayed out”, what do I do? (Question added on 2/23/2024)

    • First, make sure each section that is marked “required” is complete.
    • Second, you are most likely not assigned as the “Authorized Representative” in EDGE. Only the Authorized Representative can submit the application. To check your application roles, click on the “Application Team” tab, click “add team member”, and follow the prompts to assign your Authorized Representative. To make yourself the Authorized Representative, you follow the same process and add yourself as a team member with the same email, which will assign you two roles in EDGE.
    • See for live demo.

Contact Us

  1. How do I get in touch with EDA?
    • EDA will provide more information to Phase 2 applicants via webinars, individualized feedback, and guidance posted to the Tech Hubs website. Email [email protected] with questions.