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MAY 2017

Spotlight: EDA’s University Center Economic Development Program: Higher Education Resources and Expertise Supporting Local Plans to Grow Businesses

Letterman 'U' for University

Institutions of higher education have extensive resources, including specialized research, outreach, technology transfer, and commercialization capabilities, as well as recognized faculty expertise and sophisticated laboratories.

The EDA-supported University Center (UC) program is specifically designed to marshal the resources located within colleges and universities to support businesses and regional economic development strategies in regions of chronic and acute economic distress. The UCs, which EDA considers long-term partners in economic development, are required to devote the majority of their funding to respond to technical assistance requests originating from organizations located in the economically distressed portions of their service regions.

Currently, EDA boasts a total of 58 UC’s across the nation. Each of these centers reflects the character and capacities of the sponsoring institution and the needs of the region that the programs serve. The proactive engagement of the higher education system is particularly critical to our nation’s future.

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Success Story: KCSourceLink: Helping Entrepreneurs Connect the Dots

KCSourceLink Logo

Our University Centers are making a real difference in providing the support businesses and communities need for success. One example is the University of Missouri Kansas City’s KCSourceLink University Center program, which connects a network of over 240 entrepreneurs and small businesses in the 18-county Kansas City region to find the right business resources to start, scale or accelerate.

Recently, KCSourceLink issued its 4th Annual “We Create KC” report, which outlines the impact the program is having on making Kansas City “America’s Most Entrepreneurial City.”

Highlights from the report include:

  • KCSourceLink made more than 92,000 connections via hotline, email and website last year to help entrepreneurs and small business;
  • There has been a 290% increase in available capital for early-stage entrepreneurs, for a total of $792 million in capital available to early-stage entrepreneurs;
  • The program is working to move innovations from universities and research labs into the marketplace through its Whiteboard2Boardroom program.

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Highlight: EDA’s Austin Regional Office Hosts Annual University Showcase at Louisiana Tech University

Louisiana Tech Logo

EDA’s Austin Regional Office hosted its annual University Centers Showcase conference at Louisiana Tech University in March to highlight EDA-supported University Center economic development initiatives in the region.

Before a full-house of business developers, entrepreneurs, and educators, all 10 Southwestern University Centers presented their innovations, results, and best practices for economic development. The regional US Patent and Trademark Office also shared information about emerging commercialization, the incubation of businesses, and maker-space activities.

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45-day RIS Program Application Period Now Open

The 45-day application period for the 2017 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) is now open. EDA will award up to $17 million to organizations supporting incubation, acceleration, and the growth of early-stage seed funds. More details can be found on the RIS website adn in the official Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).


EDA Invests $1.3 Million to Support West Virginia’s Manufacturing Sector

Deputy Asst. Sec. Dennis Alvord at the RCBI

On April 20, EDA DAS Dennis Alvord announced a $1.3 million EDA grant to the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University, Huntington, W.Va., to boost workforce training opportunities in advanced manufacturing and create new jobs by providing critical technical assistance to local manufacturers. U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins participated. Read the press release and view the event video.


EDA in the News!

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EDA Investments Help to Bring Global Companies to Wichita, Kansas

DAS Alvord and WSU/Dassault Officials Watch Ribbon Cutting

$10 million in EDA investments have helped Wichita State University develop their Innovation Campus, which today is attracting world-class companies like Dassault Systems and Airbus America. On April 27, DAS Alvord helped Dassault open their new 3DExperience Center.


$2.5 Million EDA Grant Results in $39 Million in Private Investment and 200 New Jobs in Indiana

Hangar 200 after Renovation

A $2.5 million EDA grant in the Miami County Economic Development Authority, Indiana, helped renovate an existing aircraft hangar to serve prospective businesses. Dean Baldwin Painting, a major airline renovation and painting company, was the first to locate at expanded hangar facility.

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