Today, EDA issued a final rule applicable to the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program. Launched in 2014, EDA through its RIS Program, awards grants for capacity-building programs that provide proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs and for operational support to organizations that provide essential early-stage funding to startup companies. Since inception, EDA has invested approximately $40 million dollars and awarded 98 grants to increase the economic competitiveness and improve the quality of life of communities across the country. A copy of the final rule can be found at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/11/2017-00116/regional-innovation-program. The rule will become effective on February 10, 2017.
The new regulations are the first for this Program and establish the framework and structure of the RIS Program, including its mission and objectives, applicant eligibility requirements, allowable investment rates, eligible project activities, and required application components. These regulations provide enhanced customer service to the RIS Program while mitigating the administrative burden on EDA’s constituents. On September 21, 2016, EDA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register and sought public comments during a 60-day time period, which closed on November 21, 2016. A copy of the NPRM, which includes a detailed legislative and programmatic history of the RIS Program, and its parent Program (the Regional Innovation Program), can be found at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/09/21/2016-22286/regional-innovation-program.
Details regarding upcoming funding opportunities and information about RIS Program grantees may be found at https://www.eda.gov/oie/.