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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $21 Million to Accelerate Entrepreneurship Across the Nation; Announces Timeline for Next Round of Regional Innovation Strategies Competition

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that 40 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations — from 28 states and two territories will receive $21 million to create and expand cluster-focused entrepreneurship and technology transfer programs, and early-stage seed fund support under the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) 2018 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program competition.

The 2018 group of Regional Innovation Strategies awardees expands the RIS portfolio to five new states and territories. Selected from a pool of more than 230 applicants, the awardees include a defense commercialization project led by the Maryland Department of Commerce, a global food systems technology accelerator led by Kansas State University, and a healthcare innovation initiative led by the Northern Kentucky Tri-Country Economic Development Corporation.

“The Trump Administration is committed to unleashing American innovation in all corners of our nation,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “These projects will stir the spirit of entrepreneurship that undergirds American growth and has ensured the strength and dynamism of the American economy.”

The Secretary also announced that EDA will open the 2019 RIS competition on February 1st, 2019, when the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is scheduled to be published on grants.gov. Prospective applicants can find more information, including information on eligibility and how they will be able to apply, on EDA’s RIS webpage.

The full list of 2018 i6 grantees can be found on the EDA RIS 2018 i6 Challenge webpage. 2018 Seed Fund Support Program grantees are highlighted on the 2018 Seed Fund program page.

The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), leads the Regional Innovation Strategies Program to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation. The program is authorized through the America COMPETES reauthorization Act of 2010, and has received dedicated appropriations since FY2014.

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.

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