U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez visited Portland, Ore., today to recognize the Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) i6 Challenge winners  from EDA’s Seattle region. The Oregon Translational Research & Drug Development Institute, the Oregon Nanoscience & Microtechnologies Institute, and the Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center are joining forces to create the first comprehensive innovation infrastructure – the Oregon Innovation Cluster – to address gaps in the commercialization continuum for three broad industry/technology clusters. The program is receiving $1 million through the i6 Challenge, which represents a key component of President Obama’s innovation strategy - to move great ideas from the lab to the marketplace to create jobs and economic growth. U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced all the winners of the i6 Challenge from six different regions of the country  in September.
Fernandez also highlighted two additional EDA investments today. In Portland, he announced a $1.267 million grant to Portland State University’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences to remodel and upgrade  several on-campus science laboratories and train students for work in clean technology and other science-related industries.
In Vancouver, Wash., Fernandez toured the EDA-funded Vancouver Crescent Industrial Area, which received $3 million from EDA to provide roadway infrastructure  needed to redevelop the area in support of research and development and small manufacturing companies.
As a part of the Commerce Department, EDA partners with distressed communities throughout the United States to foster job creation, collaboration and innovation. EDA marks 45 years of public service this year, with a mission of leading the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. EDA press release