Research and Evaluation Program

The Research and Evaluation Program of the Economic Development Administration (EDA) supports rigorous, practitioner accessible research of leading, world class economic development practice that advances our understanding of economic development.

Current funding priorities include proposals that
enhance regional competitiveness by focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation strategies.
Examples of Funded Projects

Projects funded under the Research and Evaluation Program have included reports on innovative economic development strategies such as: (a) "Regional Clusters of Innovation, Driving a Long-Term Strategy" by Monitor Company Group; (b) "Unlocking Rural Competitiveness: The Role of Regional Clusters" by Purdue and Indiana Universities; and (c) "A Resource Guide for Technology-Based Economic Development: Positioning Universities as Drivers, Fostering Entrepreneurship, Increasing Access to Capital" by the State Science and Technology Institute.

Agency - Department of Commerce

The Department of Commerce fosters and promotes the nation's economic development and technological advancement through vigilance in international trade policy, domestic business policy and growth, and promoting economic progress at all levels.

Office - Refer to Appendix IV of the Catalog for EDA regional office contact information.
Website Address

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

In FY 2007, four projects were funded.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The Research and Evaluation Program funds research, including evaluative research, and national technical assistance projects to promote competitiveness and innovation in urban and rural regions throughout the United States.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

In accordance with PWEDA, eligible applicants for and recipients of EDA investment assistance include a(n): (a) District Organization (as defined in 13 CFR Part 304.2); (b) Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes; (c) State, a city, or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions; (d) institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or (e) public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State.

See section 3 of PWEDA (42 U.S.C.

3122) and 13 CFR Part 300.3.

For-profit, private-sector entities do not qualify for investment assistance under this program.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Not applicable. Research and Evaluation investments are designed to finance projects for research into techniques that promote competitiveness and innovation in urban and rural regions throughout the United States.


Researcher qualifications are considered in the application review process. Applicants must have demonstrated expertise in the proposed area of study.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Applicants should submit applications in accordance with the requirements of 13 CFR Part 306 and the applicable federal funding opportunity (FFO) announcement. EDA Headquarters can provide assistance in connection with proposed Research and Evaluation projects. This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372. This program is subject to provisions of 15 CFR Part 14 for institutions of higher education and other nonprofit organizations or provisions of 15 CFR Part 24 for State, local and Indian Tribal governments, as applicable. Costs will be determined in accordance with applicable federal cost principles and uniform administrative requirements.

Award Procedures

The Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development (Assistant Secretary) is the selecting official for Research and Evaluation projects. EDA will award investment assistance in accord with the procedures set forth in the applicable FFO.


Please see the deadline set forth in the applicable FFO.


Section 207 of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, as amended (PWEDA), 42 U.S.C. 3147.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Generally, two months are required for EDA to reach a final decision after receipt of a completed application that meets all requirements.




Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Generally, EDA investment assistance may not exceed 50 percent of the total cost of the project. Projects may receive an additional amount that shall not exceed 30 percent, based on the relative needs of the region in which the project will be located, as determined by EDA. See section 204(a) of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3144) and 13 CFR Part 301.4(b)(1). For Research and Evaluation projects of a national scope under 13 CFR Part 306, the Assistant Secretary has the discretion to establish a maximum EDA investment rate of up to 100 percent where the project (a) merits and is not otherwise feasible without an increase of EDA's investment rate; or (b) will be of no or only incidental benefit to the recipient. See section 204(c)(3) of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3144) and 13 CFR Part 301.4(b)(4). While cash contributions are preferred, in-kind contributions, such as contributions of space, equipment, assumptions of debt, and services, may provide the required nonfederal share of the total project cost. If required, applicants must show that the matching share is committed to the project for the entire project period, available as needed and not conditioned or encumbered in any way that precludes its use consistent with the requirements of EDA Investment Assistance. See section 204(b) of PWEDA (42 U.S.C. 3144) and 13 CFR Part 301.5.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

The length of time of a project period varies, but is generally one year. Grant funds are disbursed as required and justified. See 13 CFR Part 306.3.

Post Assistance Requirements


Recipients are subject to all federal laws and to federal, Department of Commerce and EDA policies, regulations, and procedures applicable to federal financial assistance awards, including, but not limited to, 15 CFR Parts 14 or 24, as applicable.

Standard financial and performance reports are required and special reports for specific projects may be requested.

See 13 CFR Parts 302.6 and 302.16.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, recipients that are States, local governments, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education are subject to the requirements of the Single Audit Act Amendments of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 7501 et seq.). Commercial organizations shall be subject to the audit requirements as stipulated in the award agreement. States, local governments, and nonprofit organizations that expend $500,000 or more in a year in federal awards shall have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year.


All financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical reports, and other records of recipients or sub-recipients must be maintained pursuant to the terms of investment award.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Investments) FY 07 $993,236; FY 08 $470,000; and FY 09 $470,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

In FY 2007, grants ranged from $160,000 to $349,865. The average EDA support was $248,309.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

13 CFR parts 300-302, 306.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

Refer to Appendix IV of the Catalog for EDA regional office contact information.

Headquarters Office

Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20230.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

EDA will review all Research and Evaluation applications for the feasibility of the budget presented and conformance with EDA statutory and regulatory requirements. EDA will assess the economic development needs of the region served by the proposed project, as well as the applicants capacity to implement the proposed project. Further, EDA will select proposals competitively based on strategic areas of interest and priority considerations identified in the applicable FFO. EDA also may consider the degree to which a proposed project: (a) is market-based and results driven; (b) has strong organizational leadership; (c) advances productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship; (d) looks beyond the immediate economic horizon, anticipates economic changes and diversifies the local and regional economy; and (e) demonstrates a high degree of local commitment. Applications must meet EDA's investment policy guidelines as set forth in 13 CFR Part 301.8, the requirements of 13 CFR Part 306, as applicable, and other requirements as provided in the applicable FFO.

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