Opportunity number
Department of Commerce (DOC) Economic Development Administration (EDA)
Build to Scale (B2S) Program
Due date
March, 24-2020
Economic Development
Project funding
Program funding
Funding size
Below $2M

2020 Build to Scale Program – Concept Proposal

RFP Summary provided by the agency

EDA’s Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship is committed to furthering technology-based economic development initiatives that accelerate high quality job growth, create more economic opportunities, and support the future of the next generation of industry leading companies. To advance these goals, EDA awards grants through the Build to Scale Program (formerly the Regional Innovation Strategies Program) for activities designed to develop and support regional innovation initiatives.[1] EDA thereby advances the growth of connected, innovation-centric economies that increase job growth, enable the workforce of tomorrow, enhance global competitiveness, and foster global competitiveness through technology commercialization and entrepreneurship as described in Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (hereafter “Section 27”).

The Build to Scale Program invites organizations who are aiding companies in developing the next generation of technologies to apply for funding. These organizations may be operating initiatives to unlock investment capital across a region or sector, operating programs to accelerate company growth, empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs, and/or enabling technology commercialization.
Under the Build to Scale Program, EDA is soliciting applications for three separate competitions:

  • the Venture Challenge,
  • the Capital Challenge,
  • the Industry Challenge.

Applicants may apply to all three challenges but may only submit one application per competition.
The initial step in this process is to provide EDA a Concept Proposal by 03/24/2020, electronically via email to [email protected] Applicants are advised to read carefully the Concept Proposal requirements and submission information provided in Section D (p.8) of the attached NOFO. Once the Concept Proposal process is complete, EDA will invite Full Applications from those who submitted Concept Proposals. EDA will only review Full Applications submitted by applicants who submitted a Concept Proposal by the Concept Proposal Deadline.

Applicants must provide a matching share from non-Federal sources of at least 50 percent of the total project cost; i.e., applicants must match each Federal dollar requested with at least one dollar of local match. See Section C.2 (p. 10) of this NOFO.

[1] Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, Section 27(a)(2) defines regional innovation initiatives as geographically-bounded public or nonprofit activities or programs that address issues in local innovation systems in order to:

  1. increase the success of innovation driven industry;
  2. strengthen the competitiveness of industry through new product innovation and new technology adoption;
  3. improve the pace of market readiness and overall commercialization of innovative research;
  4. enhance the overall innovation capacity and long-term resilience of the region;
  5. leverage the region’s unique competitive strengths to stimulate innovation; and
  6. increase the number of full-time equivalent employment opportunities within innovation-based business ventures in the geographic region.

Additional Links:


What is the mission and focus of the program: research, social, economic or others?

Economic, Social

How do you submit to this opportunity?

Apply through Grants.gov

Who are the target applicants: cities, universities, companies, small business, nonprofits, or others?

Eligible applicants for EDA financial assistance under this NOFO include:
A State;
An Indian tribe;
A city or other political subdivision of a State;
An entity whose application is supported by a State or a political subdivision of a State and that is—- a nonprofit organization,- an institution of higher education,- a public-private partnership,- a science or research park,- a Federal laboratory, – a venture development organization, or- an economic development organization or similar entity; or
A consortium of any of the immediately aforementioned entities. EDA is not authorized to provide grants or cooperative agreements to individuals under this Program. Requests from individuals will not be considered for funding.


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