This Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement sets out the application submission and review procedures for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program.
Regional economic vitality is best accomplished through multi-stakeholder partnerships
and collaborations that draw upon public, corporate, university, nonprofit, and philanthropic resources.
Regional innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems—which have a culture of idea generation, leadership, trust, openness to foraging new partnerships with disparate parties, entrepreneurial development, investment capital, and a large pool of accomplished managers—often fuel these partnerships and collaborations.
Robust, sustainable regional innovation ecosystems help drive national competitiveness.
EDA is committed to fostering connected, innovation-centric economic sectors which support commercialization and entrepreneurship.
The Department of Commerce (DOC) FY 2014-2018 Strategic Plan sets forth the strategic goal of working within and across ecosystems throughout the country to develop regional innovation strategies, including regional innovation clusters.
This comprises building public and private capacity to invent, improve, and commercialize new products and services.
Regional innovation strategies are a keystone of the Secretary of Commerce’s commitment to building globally competitive regions.
As part of this strategy, funding is available for capacity-building activities that include Proof of Concept Centers (POCCs) and Commercialization Centers (CCs) (as well as scaling of existing commercialization programs and centers) and for operational support for organizations that provide essential early-stage funding to startups.
Under the RIS Program, EDA is soliciting applications for two separate competitions:
(1) the 2015 i6 Challenge; and (2) Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grants.
Applicants may, but are not required to, submit proposals for more than one competition under the RIS Program.