Sending Office: Honorable David N. Cicilline
Sent By:
Ross.Brennan@mail.house.gov

Support Regional Job Creation in the FY 2019 Budget

*This is a programmatic request*

Deadline: COB March, 13th

Current Cosigners: Delaney, DeSaulnier, Rice, Cohen, Lipinski, Takano, Carson, Bonamici, Raskin, Suozzi, Soto, Schakowsky, Slaughter, Beatty, Loebsack

Dear Colleague:

Please join us in sending a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science in support of continued and sufficient funding for the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Regional Innovation Program in
FY2019.

The Regional Innovation Program encourages and supports the development of regional innovation strategies which boost entrepreneurship and innovation, strengthening business development and creating jobs. This program, which requires a 1:1 private match,
was funded for the first time in FY2014 and has been funded each consecutive year. This program fills critical gaps in innovation ecosystems in order to bring research out of laboratories and into the market, and it has a $1.30 leverage for every $1 invested
by the federal government.  

The Regional Innovation Program supports EDA’s effort to build regional innovation clusters, including the i6 Challenge and the Seed Fund Support Grants. These initiatives aggregate existing investments and technical assistance from federal agencies to strengthen
regional industry clusters – networks of interconnected firms and institutions working to accelerate job growth, business formation and expansion, innovation, workforce training, and small business development. Sufficient funding will help federal, state,
and local entities leverage existing resources, spur regional collaboration, and advance economic recovery and job creation efforts in high-growth industries. EDA has received applications from all 50 states and Puerto Rico and in the last four funding rounds,
received more than 835 applications committing more than $284.4 million in matching funds.

If you need additional information or would like to co-sign, please contact Ross Brennan in Congressman Cicilline’s office at 5-4911 or Ross.Brennan@mail.house.gov or Andrew Mooney in Congressman Hultgren’s office at 5-2976 or Andrew.Mooney@mail.house.gov.

Sincerely,

DAVID N. CICILLINE                          RANDY HULTGREN

Member of Congress                              Member of Congress

 

TEXT OF LETTER

Dear Chairman Culberson and Ranking Member Serrano:

As you develop the Commerce, Justice & Science (CJS) Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2019, we write to respectfully request you provide continued and sufficient funding for the Regional Innovation Program within the Economic Development Administration
(EDA). A targeted investment in this program will help further leverage existing federal resources designed to support the development of regional innovation ecosystems and high-growth industry clusters – networks of interconnected firms and institutions working
to accelerate job growth, business formation and expansion, innovation, workforce training, and small business development.

The Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus included $17 million for the Regional Innovation Program. This is a welcome recognition of the important role regional industry clusters and innovation strategies play in job creation and economic growth, and Congress must continue
to fund it sufficiently.

Sufficient funding for the Regional Innovation Program would further support EDA’s effort to build regional innovation clusters, strengthening initiatives such as the i6 Challenge – a competitive grant program initiated in 2010 to support job creation and
regional economic growth.

Models of innovation networks at the state level continue to demonstrate significant results. Preliminary outcomes from just the first two years of Regional Innovation Program awards are compelling: just 1-2 years into their projects, i6 Challenge awardees
have generated more than 950 full-time jobs, $166 million in additional funding, and helped more than 1,000 entrepreneurs. The Regional Innovation Program is a good investment for the federal government. In fact, every dollar contributed by the federal government
is leveraged to $1.30.

We believe that federal initiatives and investments must advance the lessons learned through these models and the successes being achieved through the Regional Innovation Program thus far. Providing sufficient funding for the Regional Innovation Program
will allow EDA to continue its investment in high-growth regional strategies, and leverage other public and private resources intended to accelerate innovation, job creation, and regional economic development. EDA has received applications from all 50 states
and Puerto Rico and in the last three funding rounds, received more than 835 applications committing $284.4 million in matching funds.

We know that you have a difficult task ahead of you as you make funding decisions. However, we believe high priority should be given to initiatives like the Regional Innovation Program that are designed to generate public-private partnerships, stimulate
private investment, empower state and local stakeholders, and support economic renewal and job creation in high-growth industries. We respectfully request continued and sufficient funding for the Regional Innovation Program in the FY 2019 Commerce, Justice,
Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Thank you for the Committee’s consideration.

Sincerely,

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Appropriations, Economy, Small Business

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