SBA awards new regional grants to spur innovation
The initiative also seeks to support the generation of high-quality jobs.
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The main voice of the Small Business Administration (SBA), Isabel Casillas Guzmán, recently announced the implementation of this package of opportunities designed to create or maintain innovation initiatives and good jobs through a consortia of regional companies known as Regional Innovation Clusters (RIC).
The new grants, totaling $319,000 and $240,800, will fund 2 new small business innovation clusters in Oregon (agtech) and Mississippi (robotics), respectively, adding to the portfolio of communities the agency supports through the RICs.
America is home to the world’s best innovators, and these new grants to support technology advancements in shipbuilding in Mississippi and agriculture in Oregon will accelerate the creation of new ventures and jobs.
About the clusters
Clusters were created to help small businesses prosper through purposeful, strategic, and focused economic development.
Highlighting how these new clusters will attract, create, and grow startups in various regions, expanding technology connectivity, and promoting business formation while fostering innovation, commercialization, business acceleration, mentoring, and sustainability, the RICs working in concert as network hubs to maximize their resources, allow small businesses to compete on a larger scale.
The addition of these two new groups brings the total number of SBA-supported clusters to 14.
NEWS: Today, SBA announced grants for two new small business innovation clusters in Oregon and Mississippi. The funding will support tech advancements in agriculture and shipbuilding. There are now 14 SBA-supported innovation clusters across America. More: https://t.co/1sKcF2JVJz— SBA (@SBAgov) December 13, 2022
“NVision looks forward to growing the Unmanned Coast cluster in the central Gulf of Mexico Region. The SBA Regional Innovative Cluster initiative will be an incredible catalyst for the rapidly growing autonomous sea systems sector in the Gulf South that combines our legacy of shipbuilding with cutting-edge engineering driven by the local U.S. Navy, NASA, and NOAA presence to serve an $11.3 billion U.S. market,” said Socorro Harvey, NVision Solutions Inc. president and CEO.
“We are thrilled at being selected as the newest RIC. It allows us to expand our existing work based on the AgLaunch model, which places farmers at the center of innovation and economic development. It helps us build on the strengths of other AgLaunch regional clusters and to expand the Farmer Network in Oregon. Most importantly, it helps us leverage Willamette Valley’s preeminence in specialty crop production and infrastructure to create, refine, and deploy better tools for farmers and agribusinesses,” pointed out Alex Paraskevas, rural innovation catalyst of AgLaunch in Oregon.
“I am proud to expand SBA’s Regional Innovation Clusters as they deliver significant and positive economic outcomes in local, and especially underserved communities,” added Casillas Guzmán.
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