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Lamar University receives EDA innovation grant

Lamar University is one of 19 universities awarded a grant in a national competition to advance and strengthen regional economies. Lamar will use the $102,590 grant to accelerate student learning, encourage innovation among faculty and students, and support fast-growing economic sectors through technology development and entrepreneurship.

The Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce provided the funding for the University Center Economic Development Program Competition. A total of $2.5 million in grants was awarded. This program supports initiatives that are focused on advancing regional commercialization efforts, entrepreneurship and a high-skilled regional workforce.

The EDA grants are designed to help America "stay innovative and competitive in the 21st century economy," said Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker.

“The EDA recognizes that institutions of higher education are critical players in the development of vibrant economic ecosystems. Universities contain significant economic development assets-such as faculty, staff, students, research and proof of concept centers, laboratories and high speed broadband networks-to support regional economic growth," said Pritzker. "Innovation is the key to global competitiveness, the creation of new and better jobs, a resilient economy and the attainment of national economic goals."

Paul Latolais, director of the Center for Innovation, Commercialization and Entrepreneurship at Lamar University, said “This grant from the EDA helps support the university’s role in creating and sustaining a healthy and growing economy in Southeast Texas.”

EDA-funded University Centers provide business solutions and technical assistance to public- and private-sector organizations, and conduct other activities with the goal of enhancing regional economic development. They offer a full range of services tailored to each region’s needs and the institution’s strengths. University Center business solutions include basic and applied research, market research, feasibility studies, product development, strategic and financial planning, seminars and training, and management consultations. These services enhance business productivity, streamline operations, increase quality, and cut costs.