Cluster Grants


Cluster grants support activities relating to the formation and development of regional innovation clusters.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Commerce
Office: Economic Development Administration
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants; Project Grants (Discretionary)
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Section 27 (15 U.S.C. 3722) of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980 (15 U.S.C.17 3701 et seq.).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Beneficiary Eligibility
No Credentials or documentation are required. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. For information on the application process you may access the applicable federal funding opportunity (FFO) announcement for Cluster Grant assistance at and at EDA will review each application for Cluster Grant assistance in accordance with the evaluation criteria, funding priorities, and selection procedures set forth in the applicable FFO.
Award Procedure
EDA Staff review complete applications for eligibility and compatibility with the program’s goals and objectives. Applications deemed eligible and at least minimally consistent with the program’s goals and objectives are referred to a review panel, which recommends applications for funding to the Grants Officer. The Grants Officer makes final funding determinations for the program.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 90 to 120 days.
Not Applicable.
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
i.whether the regional innovation cluster is supported by the private sector, State and local governments, and other relevant stakeholders; the existing participants in the regional innovation cluster will encourage and solicit participation by all types of entities that might benefit from participation, including newly formed entities and those rival existing participants;
iii.the extent to which the regional innovation cluster is likely to stimulate innovation and have a positive impact on regional economic growth and development, especially through the creation of jobs and leveraging of private investment;
iv.whether the participants in the regional innovation cluster have access to, or contribute to, a well-trained workforce;
v.whether the participants in the regional innovation cluster are capable of attracting additional funds from non-Federal sources; and
vi.the likelihood that the participants in the regional innovation cluster will be able to sustain activities once grant funds under this subsection have been expended.
How may assistance be used?
Funds may be used for:
A.Feasibility studies.
B.Planning activities.
C.Technical assistance.
D.Developing or strengthening communication and collaboration between and among participants of a regional innovation cluster.
E.Attracting additional participants to a regional innovation cluster.
F.Facilitating market development of products and services developed by a regional innovation cluster, including through demonstration, deployment, technology transfer, and commercialization activities.
G.Developing relationships between a regional innovation cluster and entities or clusters in other regions.
H.Interacting with the public and State and local governments to meet the goals of the cluster. Use of funds must be consistent with the mission of the EDA. All grants awarded are competitive in nature. EDA does not award formula grants.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
No program reports are required. No cash reports are required. Project progress and financial reports are required, generally on a quarterly basis, as required by the Special Terms and Conditions governing the award. EDA requires the submission of the SF-425 Federal Financial Report. EDA reviews progress and financial reports for compliance with all award terms and conditions, as well as EDA regulations. EDA reserves the right to conduct site visits on an as-needed basis.
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. The applicant is reminded that EDA or the Department of Commerce’s Office of Inspector General also may conduct an audit of an award at any time.
All financial and programmatic records, supporting documents, statistical reports, and other records of recipients or sub-recipients are required to be maintained by the terms of the grant agreement.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 50.%.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Project periods are specified in the grant award documents, but generally these do not exceed three years. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Funds are generally disbursed on a reimbursement basis.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices.
Headquarters Office
Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship 1401 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20230 Email: Phone: 202-482-8001
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 14 Not Available; FY 15 est $10,000,000; and FY 16 Estimate Not Available
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
No Data Available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not Applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.


Federal Grants Resources