Economic Development Administration

Mission and Investment Priorities



To lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.


The U.S. Economic Development Administration's investment policy is designed to establish a foundation for sustainable job growth and the building of durable regional economies throughout the United States. This foundation builds upon two key economic drivers - innovation and regional collaboration. Innovation is key to global competitiveness, new and better jobs, a resilient economy, and the attainment of national economic goals. Regional collaboration is essential for economic recovery because regions are the centers of competition in the new global economy and those that work together to leverage resources and use their strengths to overcome weaknesses will fare better than those that do not. EDA encourages its partners around the country to develop initiatives that advance new ideas and creative approaches to address rapidly evolving economic conditions.



Investment Priorities


Within the parameters of a competitive grant process, all projects are evaluated to determine if they advance global competitiveness, create jobs, leverage public and private resources, can demonstrate readiness and ability to use funds quickly and effectively, and link to specific and measureable outcomes. To facilitate evaluation, EDA has established the following investment priorities:


1.  Collaborative Regional Innovation
Initiatives that support the development and growth of innovation clusters based on existing regional competitive strengths. Initiatives must engage stakeholders; facilitate collaboration among urban, suburban, and rural (including tribal) areas; provide stability for economic development through long-term intergovernmental and public/private collaboration; and support the growth of existing and emerging industries.


2.  Public/Private Partnerships
Investments that use both public- and private-sector resources and leverage complementary investments by other government/public entities and/or nonprofits.


3.  National Strategic Priorities
Initiatives that encourage job growth and business expansion related to advanced manufacturing; information technology (e.g., broadband, smart grid) infrastructure; communities severely impacted by automotive industry restructuring; urban waters; natural disaster mitigation and resiliency; access to capital for small, medium-sized, and ethnically diverse enterprises; and innovations in science and health care.


4.  Global Competitiveness
Initiatives that support high-growth businesses and innovation-based entrepreneurs to expand and compete in global markets, especially investments that expand U.S. exports, encourage foreign direct investment, and promote the repatriation of jobs back to the U.S.


5.  Environmentally-Sustainable Development
Investments that promote job creation and economic prosperity through projects that enhance environmental quality and develop and implement green products, processes, places, and buildings as part of the green economy. This includes support for energy-efficient green technologies.


6.  Economically Distressed and Underserved Communities
Investments that strengthen diverse communities that have suffered disproportionate economic job losses and/or are rebuilding to become more competitive in the global economy.



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