Staff reports

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke today announced more than $5 million in Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants to support research and development in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Minnesota that will increase economic competitiveness, innovation and job creation.   

“Encouraging innovation and bringing new technologies to the marketplace are critical to creating jobs and improving our nation’s economic competitiveness,” Locke said. “These EDA grants will help fuel the innovation economy by supporting state-of-the-art facilities needed to advance research and development and commercialization in 21st century industries.”

Funding will support the productivity and collaboration that takes place at university centers and business incubators to promote economic growth by attracting private-sector investment and commercializing research.

The investments announced today include:

$1.5 million to the University of Texas at El Paso to help construct Phase III of the Paso del Norte Research and Business Development Complex, a secure and compartmentalized information center in the University’s research and business development complex that supports research and experimental development in the physical, engineering and life sciences industries.

 $1.3 million to ACCION Texas to help build the LEED-certified Texas Micro Loan Center and Small Business Incubator, which willprovide access to capital and technical and business assistance to small- and medium-sized enterprises throughout Texas and Louisiana. 

$1.2 million to Tulane University in New Orleans, La., to construct the Flower Hall Research and Technology Development facility.  The new facility will include three floors of teaching and research laboratory space to provide students will hands-on experience and guidance in fields as distinct as biotechnology, petroleum refining, semiconductor fabrication, pharmaceutical production, and polymer engineering. 

$1 million to Jones County Junior College, Jones County Junior College District, and the Board of Trustees of Jones County Junior College in Ellisville, Miss., to help construct the LEED-certified Wayne County Outreach Center in Waynesboro, Miss., an educational and workforce training facility specializing in technology and healthcare. 

$29,500 to the Headwaters Regional Development Commission of Bemidji, Minn., to support development of an action plan that will guide the creation of the Bemidji Institute, a new research and development center in the region.