Regional Innovation Program
The Economic Development Administration (``EDA'' or ``the Agency''), U.S. Department of Commerce (``DOC''), is issuing a Final Rule implementing the Regional Innovation Program as authorized by section 27 of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, as amended (``Stevenson-Wydler'' or the ``Act''). Through the Regional Innovation Strategies Program (``RIS Program''), the centerpiece of the Regional Innovation Program, EDA currently awards grants for capacity- building programs that provide proof-of-concept and commercialization assistance to innovators and entrepreneurs and for operational support for organizations that provide essential early-stage funding to startup companies. This Final Rule lays out the overarching regulatory framework for the Regional Innovation Program and specifically focuses on outlining the structure of the RIS Program. On September 21, 2016, EDA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (``NPRM'') and received two public comments, one non-germane and one substantive. The Final Rule responds to the substantive comment by making two clarifying edits and one conforming edit to the section regarding eligible RIS Program project activities. EDA also made one technical correction, unrelated to the substantive comment, to the general terms and conditions section relating to the RIS Program.