EDA Launches 2019 Regional Innovation Strategies Program Competition

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EDA Update

Friday, February 1, 2019

EDA Launches 2019 Regional Innovation Strategies Program Competition

EDA is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications for the 2019 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program funding starting today, February 1, 2019! The RIS Program, operated by EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), continues to increase regional capacity to bring technologies to market and grow innovative companies by investing in projects that support entrepreneurs and increase access to risk capital. This sixth iteration of the RIS Program again offers funding through two competitions:

  • FY19 i6 Challenge—catalyzing high-growth entrepreneurship throughout the country, the i6 Challenge awards up to $750,000 for projects that increase regional capacity to accelerate the translation of innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research into products, services, companies, and jobs.
  • FY19 Seed Fund Support (SFS) Grant Competition—unlocking risk capital for entrepreneurs and startups to grow, SFS grants provide up to $300,000 for projects that create, launch, or expand equity-based seed funds or that create networks and tools that enable capital to flow into high-growth startups in all parts of the U.S.

For last year’s 2018 RIS Program funding opportunity, EDA received a diverse, exciting set of 233 proposals from organizations all over the country, seeking over $120 million in RIS funding and bringing to the table more than $165 million in local match. EDA awarded over $21 million through 24 i6 Challenge grants and 16 SFS grants. Overall, the RIS Program, with its current portfolio of $78 million in Federal funding across 180 projects, has created over 8,200 jobs and $1 billion in follow-on capital.

For information on eligibility and how to apply, interested organizations are encouraged to visit EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies webpage for details on upcoming RIS webinars, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and previous awardees and to read the official Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in its entirety. All applications to the 2019 RIS Program competitions must be submitted no later than 11:59pm Eastern Time on Thursday, April 4, 2019.