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U.S. Economic Development Administration Launches 2021 University Center Competition

Eligible Universities in EDA’s Chicago and Philadelphia Regions Encouraged to Apply

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications under its FY 2021 University Center Economic Development Program competition. Open to accredited institutions of higher education or a consortium of accredited institutions of higher education in EDA’s Chicago and Philadelphia regions, EDA University Centers provide technical assistance to build regional economic ecosystems that support innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship, resiliency, and inclusiveness.


The FY 2021 EDA University Center Economic Development Program Competition Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announcing the competition was published today. Click here for Philadelphia Region NOFO and here for Chicago Region NOFO. The deadline to apply is June 4, 2021.


EDA encourages the submission of applications that will create and nurture regional economic ecosystems through science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skill development, workforce training opportunities, applied research and development, technology commercialization, and targeted activities that cultivate entrepreneurship and improve regional economic development.


Through this NOFO, EDA will make awards totaling $7.4 million to the University Center Program. The Chicago and Philadelphia regions will receive a combined total of $2.5 million for the first year of awards under this competition. In previous competitions, the average University Center award was from $80,000 to $200,000, and each participating region has generally made 8 to 10 awards.


An informational webinar for prospective applicants will be conducted by EDA on Wednesday, April 7, at 3:00 pm ET. Registration for this event is not necessary. EDA will also host the first annual University Center Week, April 19-23, 2021. Current University Centers are encouraged to share their success stories via Twitter, using the #EDAUnivCenters hashtag.

For more information on EDA’s University Center program, please visit our University Center webpage.

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