$17 million available to spur innovative revitalization strategies in rural regions

On May 10, 2017, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) published the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for its 2017 Regional Innovations Strategies (RIS) program.

The $17 million being made available through the RIS NOFA will help to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation.

Under this competition, EDA is seeking applications for two separate funding opportunities: the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant competition.

  • i6 Challenge ($13M): Across the country, regions and communities are helping entrepreneurs overcome challenging barriers to help build new companies and create jobs through the efforts of universities, National Labs, state and local governments, incubators, and various other organizations. The i6 Challenge helps drive these efforts by supporting the creation and expansion of programs that increase the rate at which innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research are translated into products, services, viable companies, and, ultimately, jobs.
  • Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant Competition ($4M): The availability of funding for early-stage companies is an essential element of a healthy innovation-based regional ecosystem. Taking an idea or innovation from conception to market often requires capital, but in many regions across the country, innovators and entrepreneurs struggle to find that capital. SFS grants provide funding for technical assistance and operational costs that support the planning, formation, launch, or scale of cluster-based seed funds that will invest their capital in innovation-based startups with a potential for high growth.

Prospective applicants are encouraged to refer to the Notice of Funding Availability on grants.gov for more details on both the i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support grants, including eligibility, matching-fund requirements, application and submission deadlines, and other information. Funding for both programs is available to all communities regardless of level of distress.

EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship leads the RIS program to spur innovation capacity-building activities in regions across the nation.

The application period will close June 23, 2017.

In collaboration with SSTI, OIE will present an informational webinar on May 22, 2017, at 3:00pm ET.

Register for May 22 webinar.

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