Three Tennessee universities, including one first-time recipient, are among 16 in the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) Atlanta Region to be awarded grants to operate EDA University Centers.
Both Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville and the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services received $109,618 to continue to operate their Centers while Meharry Medical College in Nashville was awarded the same amount of funding to establish and operate a new Center. The Tennessee programs are part of $3.1 million in grants to 26 colleges and universities in 16 states to administer programs to leverage their assets, promote innovation and strengthen regional economies.
“Economic Development Administration investments play an important role in advancing locally-led economic development strategies that create stronger, more resilient regional economies,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “EDA is pleased to support the institutions designated or re-designated as University Centers today, and to expand the reach of the University Center Economic Development Program to more Minority Serving Institutions.”
The program is focused on leveraging university assets to build regional economic ecosystems that support innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship, resiliency, and inclusiveness. As early as FY 1980, EDA-funded University Centers responded to the needs of small- and medium-sized manufacturers and processors for technology transfer and commercialization assistance. More recently, some the Centers have been providing resources and guidance on how to create a digitally inclusive economy while others are working with stakeholders in their regions to address economic impacts from the closure of major plants.