Brown Alerts Communities to $15 Million in Grants for Regional Innovation Strategies

Sen. Brown Worked with Westerville Nonprofit Organization to Secure Funding for this Federal Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) alerted state and local governments, higher education institutions, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, and hospitals to $15 million in new funding to support innovation and business growth. Regional Innovation Grants are part of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s (DOC) Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) 2014 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program. These grants will support strategies to support local business, including commercializing new technologies and helping fund startup companies.

“The RIS program is an opportunity to support the talent and innovation found in Ohio,” Brown said. “These federal funds are critical in ensuring that American businesses remain the most competitive in the world.” 

Though it was established in the America COMPETES Act of 2010, this marks the first time the RIS program has been funded. Brown urged the Senate Appropriations Committee to fund the program and, in 2011, SSTI, a national nonprofit organization based in Westerville, united several organizations to advocate for RIS’ funding. 

Available funding awards include:

  • i6 Challenge Grants ($8M) to fund initiatives that further technology commercialization, create new ventures and jobs, and spur economic growth;
  • Science and Research Park Development Grants ($5M) to construct or renovate science or research parks; and
  • Cluster Grants ($2M) to support seed capital funds development.  

Applications are due by November 3, 2014. DOC’s grant solicitation can be found here.


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