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2017 RIS Program Awardees

2016 RIS Program Awardees

2015 RIS Program Awardees

2014 RIS Program Awardees

2017 RIS Program

On Wednesday, September 20th, 2017, EDA announced the 2017 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program awards. In this year’s round, $17 million in Federal funding was available for the creation and expansion of cluster-focused programs and early-stage seed capital funds that strengthen ecosystems in which entrepreneurs can translate research and technologies into new businesses and jobs through the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant competition. EDA made 42 total investments and leveraged over $22 million in private, State, and local matching funds.

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2016 RIS Program

On Tuesday, November 15, 2016, EDA announced the 2016 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program grantees. In this 2016 round, a total of $15 million in Federal funding was available for the creation and expansion of cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization programs and early-stage seed capital funds through the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant competition, respectively.

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2015 RIS Program

The 2015 RIS Program included $10 million to support two unique grant opportunities:

  1. i6 Challenge: Launched in 2010 as part of the Startup America Initiative, the i6 Challenge is a national competition based on the most impactful national models for startup creation, innovation, and commercialization. In an effort to promote and support inclusion, EDA expects to award up to $2.5 million of the total $8 million to projects that provide services to rural areas. Additionally, the evaluation criteria for applications include the strength of specific outreach plans to populations and communities that are underrepresented in innovation and entrepreneurship and of specific, quantitative metrics to measure the effectiveness of that outreach.
  2. Seed Fund Support Grants: These cluster grants provide funding for technical assistance to support feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds that are offered to innovation-based, growth-oriented start-up companies in exchange for equity. Funds must include job creation in their consideration for issuing capital, and the evaluation criteria for applications include the strength of specific outreach plans to populations and communities that are underrepresented in innovation and entrepreneurship and of specific, quantitative metrics to measure the effectiveness of that outreach.

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2014 RIS Program

The 2014 RIS Program included $15 million to support three grant opportunities:

  1. i6 Challenge: The 2014 i6 is relatively the same as prior challenges but it has been broadened to include scaling of existing centers or programs and consider funding for later-stage Commercialization Centers. Special consideration will be given to programs which include initiatives focusing on innovative manufacturing and exports per Senate appropriations request.
  2. Science/Research Parks: This Challenge provides funding for feasibility and planning for the construction of new or expanded Science/Research parks or renovation of existing facilities.
  3. Seed Fund Support Grants (formerly known as Cluster Grants for Seed Funds): This new grant program provides funding for technical assistance to support feasibility, planning, formation, or launch of cluster-based seed capital funds that are offered to innovation-based, growth-oriented start-up companies in exchange for equity. Funds must include job creation in their consideration for issuing capital. Special consideration for programs focused on innovative manufacturing and exports per Senate appropriations request.

Resources:

Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE)

National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE)

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