Posted at 8:02 AM
The U.S. Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and its Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship announced the opening of its $12 million i6 Green Challenge in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, and Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. ª
EDA will award up to $1 million to each of six teams around the country with the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in support of a green innovation economy, increased U.S. competitiveness and new jobs. Its partner agencies will award more than $6 million in additional funding to i6 Green winners.
i6 Green, which builds on the success of last year’s inaugural i6 Challenge, is designed to encourage and reward innovative Proof of Concept Centers. Proof of Concept Centers accelerate technology commercialization by assisting entrepreneurs and existing companies, encouraging new venture formation and sparking job creation and economic growth across the United States.
This year’s challenge focuses on the nexus between economic development and environmental quality. i6 Green will reward communities that utilize Proof of Concept Centers to accelerate technology-led economic development in pursuit of a vibrant, innovative clean economy. See section I.A.2.b. for more information on the definition of “Proof of Concept Center” as used in this FFO.
Applicants are required to leverage regional strengths, capabilities, and competitive advantages. EDA expects to fund proposals that enable the facilitation and creation of innovative Proof of Concept Centers that in turn will accelerate the launch of new firms, spur job creation, and contribute to economic growth here in the United States. All applications should avoid any duplication of existing efforts or supplanting existing or budgeted efforts. i6 Green funding will reward Proof of Concept centers that bring transformative economic development and job growth to distressed regions.
"Initiatives like the i6 Green Challenge support the President's vision for out-innovating the rest of the world by moving great ideas from the lab to the marketplace to spur the development of 21st century jobs and industries. We know that in the last 30 years, nearly all net new jobs were created by startups, and they will continue to play a critical role in our nation's economic prosperity. -U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke"