UTB to receive investment grant from U.S. Department of Commerce


POSTED: Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - 11:42am

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 14, 2013 - 7:11am

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker today announced the winners of the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) 2013 University Center Economic Development Program Competition. EDA is providing a total of $2.5 million in grants to 19 colleges and universities in 10 states to run five-year programs that will leverage university assets to promote American innovation and strengthen regional economies. This year’s competition was open to higher education institutions in states supported by EDA’s Austin and Denver regional offices.

“These EDA investments in University Centers are examples of the Obama administration’s commitment to public-private partnerships with higher education institutions that help America stay innovative and competitive in the 21st century economy,” said Secretary Pritzker. “The 19 grants announced today will help colleges and universities throughout the country support regional entrepreneurship and job creation that are vital to boosting economic growth.”

EDA-funded University Centers provide business solutions and technical assistance to public- and private-sector organizations, and conduct other activities with the goal of enhancing regional economic development. They offer a full range of services tailored to each region’s needs and the institution’s strengths. University Center business solutions include basic and applied research, market research, feasibility studies, product development, strategic and financial planning, seminars and training, and management consultations. These services enhance business productivity, streamline operations, increase quality, and cut costs.

The grantees from EDA’s Austin Regional Office include:

  • University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Little Rock, Arkansas: Receiving $102,602 to provide technical assistance, applied research, professional and community economic development training, and other related economic development assistance to communities throughout the state of Arkansas.
  • Phillips Community College at the University of Arkansas, Helena, Arkansas: Receiving $102,590 to help fill pivotal gaps in the region’s economic ecosystem by promoting entrepreneurship and the commercialization of farm products.
  • McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana: Receiving $102,590 to help southwest Louisiana become an economic hub of industrial infrastructure and maintain and grow its chemical industry regional innovation cluster.
  • Southern University A&M College, Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Receiving $102,590 to aid the expansion and revitalization of south Louisiana by providing programs that enhance existing businesses and create new venture opportunities.
  • New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico: Receiving $102,590 to identify gaps in the regional commercialization ecosystem, and create programs that increase statewide participation in commercialization efforts, accelerate innovation, and increase the number of business start-ups.
  • Rogers State University, Claremore, Oklahoma: Receiving $102,590 to promote the advancement of innovation in the support of a more competitive, efficient, and entrepreneurial spirit in northeastern Oklahoma through a business mentoring program.
  • Southwest Oklahoma State University, Weatherford, Oklahoma: Receiving $102,590 to provide technical assistance to communities in order to promote a favorable business environment that will help attract private capital investment and create higher-skill, higher-wage jobs.
  • Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas: Receiving $102,590 for business counseling services and a proof-of-concept center focused on the needs of science and engineering start-ups, to support economic diversification and increased long-term regional competitiveness.
  • Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi, Texas: Receiving $102,590 to support small business development across several different regional industries to improve business success rates through a university-based technical assistance program.
  • University of Texas at Brownsville, Brownsville, Texas: Receiving $102,590 to help innovators and entrepreneurs develop credible business plans and subsequently open businesses that offer innovative products or services.
  • West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas: Receiving $102,590 to support the university’s role as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurial development in the Texas Panhandle region by building on technical assistance provided by previously funded University Centers.

If you’re an innovator in the Rio Grande Valley with a great idea contact UTB Dean of the College of Business at Mark.kroll@utb.edu

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