WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today announced that $450,000 has been awarded to the State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI) for the creation of the Regional Innovation Accelerator Network (RIAN). The funds were awarded by the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration (EDA). RIAN will create training programs to enhance new business development for educational institutions, technology foundations, manufacturers, and other high-growth, innovation-based enterprises.

"Education, information, and research are vitally important to attracting new economic development in Ohio," Brown said. "These funds will help bolster entrepreneurship by investing in the science and technology needed to identify best practices in Franklin County and beyond."

SSTI is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving partnerships between the government and private industry that encourage economic growth through the application of science and technology. Based in Ohio, it is the most comprehensive resource available for entrepreneurs involved in technology-based economic development.

RIAN will support a national network to provide professional development and planning for under-served urban regions. The Network members benefit from professional development and identification of best practices. This project creates training programs to enhance regional efforts supporting innovation and entrepreneurship. These federal funds were awarded by the EDA, which serves as a venture capital resource to promote economic development, innovation, and competitiveness in communities across the United States.

Brown has been working to promote economic development across Ohio by supporting the growth of emerging industries. In September 2009, Brown introduced legislation that would support and create "business incubators" in hard-hit regions of Ohio and the country. Under Brown's proposal, more Ohio communities would be eligible to receive funds, with support through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) directed to economically hard-hit regions. Business incubators provide support to existing and start-up companies, helping them to grow and create jobs. According to an independent report commissioned by the EDA, for every $10,000 in EDA funds invested in business incubators, an estimated 47-69 local job are generated. In rural areas, business incubator projects are the most effective type of EDA projects.