EDA FY 2015 RIS Program Solicitation Summary

EDA FY 2015 RIS Program Solicitation Summary

On August 13, Hamm Consulting Group participated on a webinar on the 2015 U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program Solicitation.  Julie Lenzer Kirk, Director of EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE), Craig Buerstatte, Program Manager, and Andria Fisanich, a Program Analyst, provided information on the solicitation that included the attached slides. The application deadline is October 5, 2015.

$10 million is allocated for the FY 2015 RIS Program Competition to support two separate grant opportunities, the i6 Challenge and Seed Fund Support. Both programs are briefly summarized below.

  • i6 Challenge – approximately $8 million in awards will be made to organizations that help innovators and entrepreneurs turn innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research into viable, sustainable companies; and,
  • Seed Fund Support Grants (previously Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds) – approximately $2 million in awards will be made to organizations to develop regionally focused seed capital funds that provide early stage capital to innovation-based startups with a potential for high growth.

It was emphasized during the webinar that EDA is making a strong effort to promote and support inclusion.  As a result, EDA expects to award up to $2.5 million of the $8 million allocated for i6 Challenges to projects that provide services to rural areas and underrepresented communities.   Other key takeaways from the webinar include:

  • Eligible applicants include city and county governments, state governments, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), Special district governments, Private institutions of higher education, Public and State controlled institutions of higher education, and nonprofits.
  • The maximum grant award for i6 is $500,000 and $250,000 for Seed Fund Support grants
  • There is a 1:1 match requirement for the grant that must be committed by January 2016
  • Projects that document deliberate strategies, tactics, and tasks to reach out to and include underrepresented communities and populations and measure the effectiveness of that outreach will receive special consideration.
  • Develop a holistic solicitation that is unique to the community
  • Project Sustainability is a critical factor
  • Strong diverse community support (Public, private, nonprofit) to support project proposal
  • Contact and utilize EDA Regional staff in preparing an application
  • Utilize application pre-submission technical review provided by EDA before August 31, 2015 – merit based reviews will not be provided
  • Don’t duplicate or cannibalize other programs to support proposed initiative

Additional information, including eligibility and matching requirements, is available at: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=278198.  The following information on the RIS program is also available.

I am available to assist with assessing this opportunity for your organization, grant strategy, connecting with EDA staff, and securing congressional support for the grant application.

Please contact me at rhamm@hammconsulting.com or 703-608-1906.