Programs & Funding

EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) leads the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program. Under the RIS Program, the centerpiece of the Regional Innovation Program authorized under Section 27 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C. § 3722), EDA currently awards grants that build regional capacity to translate innovations into jobs (1) through proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs and (2) through operational support for organizations that provide essential early-stage risk capital to innovators and entrepreneurs. The RIS Program consists of two separate competitions: the i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grants competition. The i6 Challenge is a leading national initiative designed to support the creation of centers for innovation and entrepreneurship that increase the rate at which innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research are translated into products, services, viable companies, and, ultimately, jobs. Through the SFS Grants competition, EDA provides funding for technical assistance to support the creation, launch, or expansion of equity-based, cluster-focused seed funds that invest regionally-managed risk capital in regionally-based startups with a potential for high growth.

2017 RIS PROGRAM

On Wednesday, May 10, 2017, EDA began accepting applications under the 2017 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA). In this 2017 round, $17 million in Federal funding is available for the creation and expansion of cluster-focused proof-of-concept and commercialization program and of early-stage seed capital funds through the i6 Challenge and the 2017 Seed Fund Support Grant competition, respectively. The deadline for submitting applications under the 2017 RIS Program NOFA is June 23, 2017.

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