The Secretary shall establish a regional innovation program to encourage and support the development of regional innovation strategies designed to increase innovation-driven economic opportunity within their respective regions.
The Secretary shall provide feedback to program applicants that are not awarded grants to help them improve future applications.
The Secretary may not provide more than 50 percent of the total cost of any activity funded under this subsection.
The Secretary may accept funds from other Federal agencies to support grants and activities under this subsection.
The Secretary may award research grants on a competitive basis to support and further the goals of the program established under this section.
The Secretary shall incorporate data and analysis relating to any grant awarded under subsection (c) into the program established under this subsection.
To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall ensure that the activities carried out under this section are coordinated with, and do not duplicate the efforts of, other programs at the Department of Commerce or at other Federal agencies.
The Secretary shall explore and pursue collaboration with other Federal agencies, including through multi-agency funding opportunities, on regional innovation strategies.
The Secretary shall ensure that such collaboration with Federal agencies prioritizes the needs and challenges of small businesses.
Not later than 5 years after Congress first appropriates funds to carry out this section, the Secretary shall competitively award a contract with an independent entity to conduct an evaluation of programs established under this section.
Not later than 5 years after the first grant is awarded under subsection (c), and every 5 years thereafter until 5 years after the last grant recipient completes the regional innovation initiative for which such grant was awarded, the Secretary shall submit a summary report to Congress that describes the outcome of each regional innovation initiative that was completed during the previous 5 years.