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2012 University Center Economic Development Program Competition

February 16, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 149

The Economic Development Administration, otherwise known as EDA, is a federal government agency operating within the United States Department of Commerce that is mostly responsible for providing grants to economically challenged communities in an effort to help generate new job opportunities, aid in keeping existing jobs and stimulating economic and commercial growth.

The grants and initiatives of the EDA are all aimed towards the awareness of its primary agency mission which is to "lead the federal business development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the global economy."

In accordance with this mission, the Economic Development Administration has recently established the 2012 University Center Economic Development Program Competition wherein they propose to solicit grant applications from higher education institutions stating their intention to create and operate special University Centers that are focused on leveraging university assets so as to create regional economic ecosystems which will support high-growth entrepreneurship.

Higher education institutions or a consortia of institutions can take part in this program as long as they are prepared to build and operate a University Center, and in the process, form a partnership with several EDA partners in order to provide, develop, implement, and support regional techniques and approaches that will surely pave the way to the creation of more jobs, the development of high-skilled regional talent pools, and the growth of regional businesses.

With that, the EDA has stipulated that the resources included in the programme can be in the likes of technology commercialization, feasibility studies, market analysis, economic impact analyses, training, and a number of other technical assistance initiatives that might aid communities in the process of fostering vibrant industrial ecosystems.

The University Center Economic Development Programme Competition has been running since the year 2004, but in 2012, the EDA will particularly administer the programme competition in its Atlanta and Seattle Regional Offices.

In addition, the EDA has additionally stated that they are going to give priority to grant applications which propose to create and nurture regional economic ecosystems through applied research and development, technology commercialization, and focused activities that cultivate entrepreneurship through 3 primary components:

a) A vastly networked regional talent pool, with specialized expertise pertaining to the region's innovation clusters;

b) A support system that is intended for researchers and scientists who are seeking to turn their discoveries into marketable goods and services;

c) Diverse innovation infrastructures that are necessary in the process of supporting innovation such as education, work-force development, and financial infrastructure.

In order to fuel the drive of this programme, the EDA is about to administer funds in the amount of $8.4 million.

The institutions and affiliations who are eligible to submit an application and receive funding under this program are accredited institutions of higher education, including community colleges, or a consortium of accredited institutions of higher education.

Michael Saunders is an editor of TopGovernmentGrants.com. He maintains Websites providing resources on small business grants and home improvement grants.

Source: EzineArticles
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