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Turning Innovation Into Enterprise


West Virginia Featured at EDA Regional Conference

West Virginians in attendance at the recent US EDA Conference in Philadelphia.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) Regional Conference, held in July in Philadelphia, featured several West Virginians representing organizations that have recently received EDA grants.

West Virginia Secretary of Commerce Keith Burdette, Anne Barth of TechConnect, Dr. John Maher of the Marshall University Research Corporation, Mark Felton of Region III Planning and Development Council, and WV EDA Representative Dr. Anne Cavalier participated in panel discussions highlighting cluster development in rural areas and the role of universities in economic development.

In 2011, the WV Regional Technology Park was awarded a $5.25 million EDA grant to renovate research laboratory space. Marshall University and Concord University won a five-year, $500,000 EDA grant to establish a new resource center to help spur innovation and increase the competitiveness of West Virginia businesses.  In addition, TechConnect won a $250,000 grant in 2011 to build out the soft infrastructure surrounding the state’s innovation economy.

Conference speakers included Matthew Erskine, Acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development; Willie Taylor, Regional Director of EDA’s Philadelphia Regional Office; Dr. Phillip Singerman, Associate Director for Innovation and Industry Standards at NIST; and Richard Bendis, President and CEO of Innovation America, among others.