u s small business administration



Release Date: Dec. 13, 2022

Release Number: 22-99

Contact: Press_Office@sba.gov  www.sba.gov/news 

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U.S. Small Business Administration Awards New Regional Grants to Spur Innovation and Support High-Quality Jobs


Additional grant awards will support agriculture technology growth in Oregon, unmanned and robotic vehicle manufacturing in Mississippi


WASHINGTON Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 33.2 million small businesses in President Biden’s Cabinet, announced additional grants designed to create or sustain innovation initiatives and high-quality jobs through consortiums of regional businesses known as regional innovation clusters. The new grants, totaling $319,000 and $240,800, will go to two new small business innovation clusters in Oregon and Mississippi, respectively, adding to the portfolio of communities the agency supports through its Regional Innovation Clusters (RIC) initiative.

“America is home to the world’s best innovators, and these new grants to support technology advancements in shipbuilding in Mississippi and agriculture in Oregon will accelerate the creation of new ventures and jobs,” said Administrator Guzman. “I am proud to expand SBA’s Regional Innovation Clusters as they deliver significant and positive economic outcomes in local, and especially underserved communities.”

“NVision looks forward to growing the Unmanned Coast cluster in the central Gulf of Mexico Region,” said NVision Solutions Inc., President and CEO Socorro Harvey. “The SBA Regional Innovative Cluster initiative will be an incredible catalyst for the rapidly growing autonomous sea systems sector in the Gulf South that combines our legacy of shipbuilding with cutting-edge engineering driven by the local U.S. Navy, NASA, and NOAA presence to serve an $11.3 billion U.S. market.”

“We are thrilled at being selected as the newest RIC,” said Alex Paraskevas, Rural Innovation Catalyst, AgLaunch in Oregon. “It allows us to expand our existing work based on the AgLaunch model, which places farmers at the center of innovation and economic development. It helps us build on the strengths of other AgLaunch regional clusters and to expand the Farmer Network in Oregon. Most importantly, it helps us leverage Willamette Valley’s preeminence in specialty crop production and infrastructure to create, refine, and deploy better tools for farmers and agribusinesses.”

The addition of these two new clusters raises the total number of SBA-supported clusters to 14.

The clusters exist to help small businesses thrive through purposeful, strategic, and focused economic development. Working together as networking hubs to maximize their resources, RICs enable small businesses to compete on a larger scale. These new clusters will attract, create, and grow new business startups throughout several regions, expanding the connectivity of technology and promoting business formation while fostering innovation, commercialization, business acceleration, mentorship, and sustainability.

To learn more, get contact information, or obtain a complete list of SBA Regional Innovation Clusters, go to https://www.sba.gov/local-assistance/regional-innovation-clusters


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.