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Black River Innovation Campus Receives $724,000 EDA Grant

Friday, December 7, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jeff Couture

The Center on Rural Innovation (CORI) announced that the Black River Innovation Campus (BRIC) has received $724,000 in federal grant funds to support continued progress in building a digital economy ecosystem in Springfield. The award was first announced by the US Economic Development Administration (EDA) as part of its most recent Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) i6 Challenge competitive grant program. The BRIC award is one of only 40 awards in the country this year, and the first award in the history of the program with a rural digital economy focus.

The RIS i6 Challenge is a leading national initiative administered by the EDA’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The i6 Challenge is designed to support the creation of centers for innovation and entrepreneurship that increase the rate at which innovations, ideas, intellectual property, and research are translated into products, services, viable companies, and jobs.

“This RIS i6 grant award is an incredible sign of confidence in the innovation hub model we are pursuing as we work to build new economic opportunities in rural America, starting right here in Springfield,” said Matt Dunne, CORI Founder and Executive Director. “With investments from the EDA and other funders, we are able to continue the momentum at BRIC and create the kinds of digital economy training, job, and entrepreneurship opportunities that have the power to transform the community.”

“There is so much untapped potential for innovation in our rural communities across the country,” said Craig Buerstatte, Acting Director of the Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA. “We are pleased to support the Black River Innovation Campus through this RIS i6 grant because it exemplifies the kind of innovative approach that will play a critical role in revitalizing small towns everywhere.”

Once a national leader in manufacturing technology, Springfield is primed for a successful revival as a leader in the digital economy thanks to its affordable, widespread 10 gigabit internet access, inexpensive local real estate, and the availability of skilled talent. BRIC will be a live/work/learn platform for leveraging these assets to create new opportunities for digital economy employment and entrepreneurship.

Source: Vermont Business Magazine