The Economic Development Administration is in. So is the Agriculture Department. Now, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has entered the clusters game too. Last week, the agency begun accepting applications for two new grant programs focused on accelerating small business growth and job creation through existing regional industry clusters. The SBA’s initiative is yet another example of the current administration adopting the clusters paradigm as a general organizing principle for economic development and innovation investments, and follows on such efforts as the multiple-agency effort to spur a regional building energy efficiency cluster and the explicit prioritization of “collaborative regional innovation” in EDA grantmaking.
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