EDA is committed to fostering connected, innovation-centric economic sectors which support the conversion of research into products and services, businesses, and ultimately jobs through entrepreneurship.
See SWTIA § 2 7. The 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.
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 programs that provide proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs 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:
the 2016 i6 Challenge, and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant competition.
Applicants may, but are not required to, submit proposals for more than one competition under the RIS Program.
Note that the 2016 RIS Program is authorized under SWTIA § 27, which does not restrict the focus of grantees’ projects to economically distressed communities.