The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has awarded a $400,000 grant to Space Florida, an Independent Special District of the state, to develop an economic development strategy for Florida's Space Coast region.
"The Obama administration has been working closely with local stakeholders like Space Florida to assure that vital industries and jobs continue to flourish in the Space Coast Region during the transition from the Space Shuttle program," said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez. "The strategy being advanced through this critical U.S. EDA investment will provide a blueprint to grow strong, tech-driven industry clusters that will help transform the region's vital aerospace sector."
"This program is a great asset to our efforts to help transition Florida's aerospace economy," said Frank DiBello, president of Space Florida. "We have a great opportunity to identify and direct regional assets to support innovation-oriented economic development, and to create real investment opportunities for the small- and medium-size enterprises, which will be creating jobs in the near and long term."
The EDA is soliciting competitive applications for a $35 million Space Coast Regional Innovation Cluster funding opportunity. The Task Force on Space Industry Workforce & Economic Development recommended this initiative to President Barack Obama.