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U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross today announced that 40 organizations — including nonprofits, institutions of higher education, and entrepreneurship-focused organizations — from 28 states and two territories will receive $21 million to create and expand cluster-focused entrepreneurship and technology transfer programs, and early-stage seed fund support under EDA’s 2018 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program competition.

The full list of 2018 i6 grantees can be found on the EDA RIS 2018 i6 Challenge webpage. 2018 Seed Fund Support Program grantees are highlighted on the 2018 Seed Fund program page.

The 2018 group of RIS awardees expands the RIS portfolio to five new states and territories. Selected from a pool of more than 230 applicants, the awardees include a defense commercialization project led by the Maryland Department of Commerce, a global food systems technology accelerator led by Kansas State University, a healthcare innovation initiative led by the Northern Kentucky Tri-Country Economic Development Corporation, a community-oriented, rural-focused proof-of-concept center led by the North Idaho College Venture Center and new efforts led by StartUpNV to expand and increase angel investment activity across the state of Nevada.

You can learn more about how our 2018 RIS cohort plans to engage to boost innovation and support entrepreneurship in their regions by reading these new i6 Challenge and Seed Fund program blog posts.

The Secretary also announced that EDA will open the 2019 RIS competition on February 1st, 2019, when the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is scheduled to be published on

We encourage you to start thinking NOW about how you can plug into the RIS program to help support your innovation and entrepreneurship growth activities. Prospective applicants can find more information, including information on eligibility and how they will be able to apply, on EDA’s RIS webpage.