Two key regional innovation initiatives were each awarded competitive grants of $600,000 last week as part of the US Economic Development Administration’s Build to Scale Program.
The Blue Economy Innovation Initiative—led by the Cleveland Water Alliance—is an industry challenge focused on growing the region’s water economy by providing innovators from all over the country the ability to conceive of, test, scale up and demonstrate innovative water technology directly with customers. The initiative will develop Accelerator Testbeds within four environments (watershed, utility, consumer, and industrial water-use) and expand Open-Innovation Challenge programming to convene customers and entrepreneurs across the Lake Erie Basin to solve freshwater challenges.
Cleveland State University, in partnership with MAGNET, was also awarded a grant as part of the Build to Scale Program. The Entrepreneurial Manufacturer Digitization Support (EMDiS) Center will bring state-of-the-art digital manufacturing tools to small manufacturers. The proposed Center will address the gap small manufacturing companies face when considering, acquiring, and implementing cost-effective digital manufacturing technologies, helping them to become more productive, agile, and resilient even in the face of economic challenges and supply chain disruption.
GCP is grateful to U.S. Representatives Anthony Gonzalez, Dave Joyce, Marcy Kaptur, and Marcia Fudge and U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, whose support for these projects—and numerous other regional efforts—was critical.