CAPACITY BUILDING

US Economic Development Administration Launches 2021 University Center Competition

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By Godson Umejiego, Correspondent USA

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has announced that it is now accepting applications under its FY 2021 University Center Economic Development Programme competition. Open to accredited institutions of higher education or a consortium of accredited institutions of higher education in EDA’s Chicago and Philadelphia regions, EDA University Centers provide technical assistance to build regional economic ecosystems that support innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship, resiliency, and inclusiveness.

The FY 2021 EDA University Center Economic Development Programme Competition Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announcing the competition has  been published . The deadline to apply is June 4, 2021.

EDA encourages the submission of applications that will create and nurture regional economic ecosystems through science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skill development, workforce training opportunities, applied research and development, technology commercialization, and targeted activities that cultivate entrepreneurship and improve regional economic development.

Through this NOFO, EDA will make awards totaling US$7.4 million to the University Center Programme. The Chicago and Philadelphia regions will receive a combined total of US$2.5 million for the first year of awards under this competition. In previous competitions, the average University Center award was from US$80,000 to US$200,000, and each participating region has generally made 8 to 10 awards.

An informational webinar for prospective applicants will be conducted by EDA on Wednesday, April 7, at 3:00 pm ET. Registration for this event is not necessary. EDA will also host the first annual University Center Week, April 19-23, 2021. Current University Centers are encouraged to share their success stories via Twitter, using the #EDAUnivCenters hashtag.

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