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EDA funds SSTI to develop Community of Practice for tech-based economic development organizations

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has made a four-year investment in the State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI) to build a Community of Practice (CoP) focused on EDA’s important technology-based economic development (TBED) investment priority area. This new partnership will help regions across the entire country become more resilient, more equitable, and more competitive in the global innovation-centered economy.

“Technology is changing the face of the global economy, and technology-based economic development is among EDA’s key investment priorities,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development in a statement announcing the award. “The TBED CoP will advance an ideal synthesis of vision and practice to foster entrepreneurship and catalyze innovation.”

In its latest SSTI Weekly Digest, the Columbus, OH-based organization said that EDA’s investment and collaboration will enable the nation’s TBED community to grow in new ways, extending the benefits of the innovation economy to new pockets of the country, enabling new urban-rural connections and building equitable pathways for growth that will open greater economic opportunities to more Americans.

“America is facing an incredible array of structural economic challenges due to the impacts of the pandemic, inequality, global competition, and climate change,” said Dan Berglund, President and Chief Executive Officer of SSTI. “The new TBED CoP will meet the need of EDA grantees for a resource that will work to improve their impacts and expand their capacities by identifying and disseminating effective practices, building inter-organizational networks, developing staff knowledge and skills, and forming partnerships with new stakeholders.”

In building the TBED CoP, SSTI will work with EDA and its stakeholders to:

  • identify and share best practices;
  • foster collaboration among EDA grantees;
  • facilitate greater communication with external partners; and,
  • emphasize the integration of EDA’s other investment priorities in TBED projects.

Support available through the CoP will include technical assistance, education and networking to assist EDA grantees in building their capacities and multiplying their impacts. While SSTI will leverage its significant experience and substantial network to provide many of these services directly, the CoP also will provide space for grantees to collaborate with peer groups that share their specific perspectives, activities and priorities.

SSTI will also partner with the Association of University Research Parks to implement aspects of the TBED CoP related to working with research parks.

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