15 U.S. Code § 3722 - Regional innovation program

§ 3722.
Regional innovation program
(a) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish a regional innovation program to encourage and support the development of regional innovation strategies, including regional innovation clusters.

(b) Cluster grants
(1) In general

As part of the program established under subsection (a), the Secretary may award grants on a competitive basis to eligible recipients for activities relating to the formation and development of regional innovation clusters.

(2) Permissible activitiesGrants awarded under this subsection may be used for activities determined appropriate by the Secretary, including the following:
(A)
Feasibility studies.
(B)
Planning activities.
(C)
Technical assistance.
(D)
Developing or strengthening communication and collaboration between and among participants of a regional innovation cluster.
(E)
Attracting additional participants to a regional innovation cluster.
(F)
Facilitating market development of products and services developed by a regional innovation cluster, including through demonstration, deployment, technology transfer, and commercialization activities.
(G)
Developing relationships between a regional innovation cluster and entities or clusters in other regions.
(H)
Interacting with the public and State and local governments to meet the goals of the cluster.
(3) Eligible recipient definedIn this subsection, the term “eligible recipient” means—
(A)
a State;
(B)
an Indian tribe;
(C)
a city or other political subdivision of a State;
(D) an entity that—
(i)
is a nonprofit organization, an institution of higher education, a public-private partnership, a science or research park, a Federal laboratory, or an economic development organization or similar entity; and
(ii)
has an application that is supported by a State or a political subdivision of a State; or
(E)
a consortium of any of the entities described in subparagraphs (A) through (D).
(4) Application
(A) In general

An eligible recipient shall submit an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information and assurances as the Secretary may require.

(B) ComponentsThe application shall include, at a minimum, a description of the regional innovation cluster supported by the proposed activity, including a description of—
(i)
whether the regional innovation cluster is supported by the private sector, State and local governments, and other relevant stakeholders;
(ii)
how the existing participants in the regional innovation cluster will encourage and solicit participation by all types of entities that might benefit from participation, including newly formed entities and those rival existing participants;
(iii)
the extent to which the regional innovation cluster is likely to stimulate innovation and have a positive impact on regional economic growth and development;
(iv)
whether the participants in the regional innovation cluster have access to, or contribute to, a well-trained workforce;
(v)
whether the participants in the regional innovation cluster are capable of attracting additional funds from non-Federal sources; and
(vi)
the likelihood that the participants in the regional innovation cluster will be able to sustain activities once grant funds under this subsection have been expended.
(C) Special consideration

The Secretary shall give special consideration to applications from regions that contain communities negatively impacted by trade.

(5) Special consideration

The Secretary shall give special consideration to an eligible recipient who agrees to collaborate with local workforce investment area boards.

(6) Cost share

The Secretary may not provide more than 50 percent of the total cost of any activity funded under this subsection.

(7) Outreach to rural communities

The Secretary shall conduct outreach to public and private sector entities in rural communities to encourage those entities to participate in regional innovation cluster activities under this subsection.

(8) Funding

The Secretary may accept funds from other Federal agencies to support grants and activities under this subsection.

(c) Regional innovation research and information program
(1) In generalAs part of the program established under subsection (a), the Secretary shall establish a regional innovation research and information program—
(A)
to gather, analyze, and disseminate information on best practices for regional innovation strategies (including regional innovation clusters), including information relating to how innovation, productivity, and economic development can be maximized through such strategies;
(B)
to provide technical assistance, including through the development of technical assistance guides, for the development and implementation of regional innovation strategies (including regional innovation clusters);
(C)
to support the development of relevant metrics and measurement standards to evaluate regional innovation strategies (including regional innovation clusters), including the extent to which such strategies stimulate innovation, productivity, and economic development; and
(D) to collect and make available data on regional innovation cluster activity in the United States, including data on—
(i)
the size, specialization, and competitiveness of regional innovation clusters;
(ii)
the regional domestic product contribution, total jobs and earnings by key occupations, establishment size, nature of specialization, patents, Federal research and development spending, and other relevant information for regional innovation clusters; and
(iii)
supply chain product and service flows within and between regional innovation clusters.
(2) Research grants

The Secretary may award research grants on a competitive basis to support and further the goals of the program established under this subsection.

(3) Dissemination of information

Data and analysis compiled by the Secretary under the program established in this subsection shall be made available to other Federal agencies, State and local governments, and nonprofit and for-profit entities.

(4) Regional innovation grant program

The Secretary shall incorporate data and analysis relating to any grant under subsection (b) into the program established under this subsection.

(d) Interagency coordination
(1) In general

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 other Federal agencies.

(2) Collaboration
(A) In general

The Secretary shall explore and pursue collaboration with other Federal agencies, including through multiagency funding opportunities, on regional innovation strategies.

(B) Small businesses

The Secretary shall ensure that such collaboration with Federal agencies prioritizes the needs and challenges of small businesses.

(e) Evaluation
(1) In general

Not later than 3 years after December 16, 2014, the Secretary shall enter into a contract with an independent entity, such as the National Academy of Sciences, to conduct an evaluation of the program established under subsection (a).

(2) RequirementsThe evaluation shall include—
(A)
whether the program is achieving its goals;
(B)
any recommendations for how the program may be improved; and
(C)
a recommendation as to whether the program should be continued or terminated.
(f) DefinitionsIn this section:
(1) Regional innovation clusterThe term “regional innovation cluster” means a geographically bounded network of similar, synergistic, or complementary entities that—
(A)
are engaged in or with a particular industry sector and its related sectors;
(B)
have active channels for business transactions and communication;
(C)
share specialized infrastructure, labor markets, and services; and
(D)
leverage the region’s unique competitive strengths to stimulate innovation and create jobs.
(2) State

The term “State” means one of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or any other territory or possession of the United States.

(g) Funding
(1) General rule

Except as provided in paragraph (2), no funds are authorized to be appropriated by the Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2014 for carrying out this section.

(2) Authority

To the extent provided for in advance by appropriations Acts, the Secretary may use not to exceed $10,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 2015 through 2019 to carry out this section from amounts appropriated for economic development assistance programs.

References in Text

The Revitalize American Manufacturing and Innovation Act of 2014, referred to in subsec. (g)(1), is title VII of div. B. of Pub. L. 113–235, Dec. 16, 2014, 128 Stat. 2220. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note under section 271 of this title and Tables.

Amendments

2014—Pub. L. 113–235 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text related to regional innovation program and consisted of subsecs. (a) to (i), including provisions relating to establishment of program, cluster grants, science and research park development grants, loan guarantees for science park infrastructure, regional innovation research and information program, interagency coordination, evaluation of program, definitions, and authorization of appropriations.

 

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