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America COMPETES Act Helps EDA Support Clusters that Drive Business Activity and Job Growth

The America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, which President Obama recently signed into law, strengthens EDA's capacity to elevate regional innovation cluster development as a key driver of future jobs growth and accelerate the commercialization of new technologies, products, processes, and services.

COMPETES supports EDA's Jobs and Innovation Partnership framework through the establishment of a Regional Innovation Program to encourage and support the development of regional innovation strategies, including regional innovation clusters and science and research parks. It also formally establishes EDA's Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Department of Commerce to foster innovation and the commercialization of new technologies, products, processes, and services with the goal of promoting productivity and economic growth in the United States.

The new law advances the Obama administration's innovation agenda by doubling funding to our nation's basic research agencies; boosting investment in high-risk, high-reward energy technology development; and improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.  

In a recent statement, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke noted, "These innovative programs and initiatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce, with the help of the America COMPETES Act, will help create jobs here at home, make our businesses more competitive abroad and strengthen the foundation of our economy."

The full text of the law can be found here.