U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez today unveiled a web portal to launch the Regional Innovation Acceleration Network (RIAN), an effort in collaboration with the State Science & Technology Institute to promote organizations that are growing regional economies and creating jobs through innovation.
RIAN is an initiative to accelerate the growth of Venture Development Organizations (VDO), entities that make direct investments in companies and new ideas and increase access to capital in order to turn innovations into companies with jobs to drive America’s economy. VDO’s are non-profit, business driven partnerships with government, community foundations, universities and civic organizations focused on promoting technology and innovation-based development. They provide a multifaceted portfolio of services tailored to address specific needs of their particular regional economy.
The web portal supports the community of existing and emerging VDOs around the country by enabling peer-to-peer sharing of information and best practices, helping to identify funding opportunities for VDOs, and providing tools to help regions approach the creation of their own VDO. It is designed to help economic development practitioners assess where the innovation assets across the country are, what they are, and what their service area is. Further, the site is an economic tool that provides technical assistance to help communities leverage existing innovation networks and provide resources to help establish networks when they are not already present.
For more information and to access the RIAN web portal, click here.