[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 81 (Wednesday, April 27, 2011)]
[Page 23543]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-10231]

[[Page 23543]]



Economic Development Administration

[Docket No.: 110420251-1255-01]

The Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge; a Coordinated 
Initiative To Advance Regional Competitiveness

AGENCY: Economic Development Administration (EDA), Department of 

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Obama Administration announces the Jobs and Innovation 
Accelerator Challenge (Accelerator Challenge), an initiative of 16 
Federal agencies and bureaus to accelerate innovation-fueled job 
creation and economic prosperity through public-private partnerships. 
The Accelerator Challenge will offer, subject to the availability of 
funds, a combination of $33 million in funding from three agencies and 
technical assistance resources from 13 additional agencies and bureaus 
to support customized solutions for approximately 20 competitively 
selected industry clusters in urban and rural regions across the nation 
and across all sectors. A competitive solicitation is expected to be 
announced in May 2011.
    President Obama has prioritized the development of strong regions 
\1\ as the building blocks of a strong and globally competitive 
American economy and as key elements in our strategy for winning the 
future. Understanding that jobs are not created on Capitol Hill but in 
America's regions, the Obama Administration is committed to smarter use 
of existing Federal resources to support regional innovation and 
sustainable economic prosperity. Knowing that regional innovation 
clusters provide a globally proven approach for developing economic 
prosperity, this new, multi-agency initiative creates an unprecedented 
platform for integrating and coordinating the wide range of Federal 
economic development resources.

    \1\ Including rural, urban and multijurisdictional areas.

    Each Accelerator Challenge investment will serve as a catalyst for 
leveraging private capital in the regions from an array of sources such 
as foundations, financial institutions, corporations and other private 
sector partners. Through its unprecedented linking, aligning and 
leveraging of Federal resources and by building strategic public-
private partnerships, the Accelerator Challenge will foster broad 
regional innovation, job creation, and global competitiveness.
    Funds awarded to the winning applicants can be used to support and 
accelerate a range of measurable outcomes, including innovation, 
commercialization, business formation and expansion, development of a 
skilled workforce, job creation, exports, sustainable economic 
development and global competitiveness in approximately 20 industry 
clusters that exhibit high-growth development potential. These 
successful clusters will promote growth that is inclusive of the 
region's population.
    This initiative represents the implementation of a number of Obama 
Administration policy priorities including:
     Acceleration of bottom-up innovation strategies 
encompassing urban and rural geographies, as opposed to imposing ``one 
size fits all'' solutions from Washington; and
     Reduction of Federal programs silos and promotion of more 
coordinated Federal funding opportunities that offer a more efficient 
system for customers to access Federal resources.
    The partner agencies and bureaus include: Department of Commerce 
(EDA, National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), 
International Trade Administration (ITA), and Minority Business 
Development Agency (MBDA)); Department of Labor (Employment and 
Training Administration (ETA)); Small Business Administration (SBA); 
Department of Education (ED); Department of Agriculture (USDA); 
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); National Science Foundation 
(NSF); Department of Transportation (DOT); Department of Health and 
Human Services (HHS); Department of the Treasury (TREAS); Department of 
Housing and Urban Development (HUD); and Department of Energy (DOE).
    Subject to funding availability, the total proposed funding for the 
Accelerator Challenge is approximately $33 million in direct Federal 
support from the three funding agencies and bureaus: EDA, ETA, and SBA. 
Specific funding sources will be named in the forthcoming FFO.
    Clusters selected for funding may receive specialized technical 
assistance or other resources from partner agencies and bureaus, which 
will offer this assistance from existing programs and initiatives. 
These resources include Federally funded assets that can be leveraged 
by the clusters and entities that are available for collaborative 
partnerships to strengthen the clusters.
    Applicants will be asked to discuss several components of their 
cluster. They will be evaluated against criteria that include: evidence 
of a high-growth cluster; the cluster's needs and opportunities; a 
proposed project concept and scope of work; and the projected impact 
and measurable outcomes. Outcomes might include how Federal funds will 
be used to:
     Achieve sustainable economic growth in the region;
     Augment business formation, especially small businesses, 
and leverage existing businesses and manufacturing assets;
     Advance commercialization of Federal and private research 
and increase exports;
     Develop a skilled workforce through outreach, training, 
and the creation of career pathways; and
     Integrate historically underserved businesses and 
communities into the economic activities of the cluster.
    For more information please visit http://www.eda.gov/InvestmentsGrants/jobsandinnovationchallenge.

    Dated: April 22, 2011.
Barry E. A. Johnson,
Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Initiatives, Economic 
Development Administration.
[FR Doc. 2011-10231 Filed 4-26-11; 8:45 am]