EDA reauthorization includes tech and manufacturing programs

In an earlier posting, I noted that the Economic Development Administration (EDA) was expanding its activities toward technology commercialization through its i6 Challenge. Yesterday, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee took another step by passing a new EDA reauthorization bill that included a number of new initiatives (H.R. 5897- Economic Revitalization and Innovation Act of 2010).
Among other things, the bill expands support for business incubators and science and research parks. This also includes a provision that clarifies EDA’s ability to provide business incubator operating support. Use of EDA funds for operating support is something I have advocated — see earlier postings.
On the technology side, the bill creates funding for high-speed rail economic development planning and for alternative energy technologies programs. The bill also creates an Equity Financing Program in the form of a Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) to make equity investments in incubator companies, companies commercializing technology at science and research parks, and technology or manufacturing companies locating or relocating to the United States.
This is an important step forward for EDA – one that will move them into I-Cubed Economy.


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