HUNTINGTON, WV (WOAY) – The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University has received a major boost from the United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) to expand efforts to create an economy driven by entrepreneurship and innovation across West Virginia.
EDA recognized RCBI as one of 60 University Center recipients in the United States. This recognition and award of more than $ 500,000 will propel the delivery of direct commercial and technical assistance, strengthen regional collaborations, improve supply chain connections and develop new technologies.
RCBI will partner with higher education institutions and economic development organizations across the state as well as with Marshall’s iCenter, part of the Lewis College of Business, Brad D. Smith Schools of Business; and the Southern West Virginia Economic Development Alliance on programs to improve the regional economy.
The initiative will also target state-owned industries with the greatest growth potential, including aviation, advanced manufacturing, agriculture and food production, medical manufacturing, technology, outdoor recreation and alternative uses of coal.
âRCBI is honored to be one of 60 US EDA Academic Centers across the country,â said Charlotte Weber, Director and CEO of RCBI. âAs the only nationally recognized academic center in West Virginia, RCBI and our partner organizations have consistently exceeded specific targets to drive economic production and economic diversity. With this latest award, EDA recognizes that RCBI at Marshall University has a proven track record in generating results that have positive impacts and, often, life-changing outcomes.
Derek Scarbro, deputy director of RCBI, said the EDA University Center’s goals for the next five years include creating at least 145 jobs and mobilizing more than $ 1 million in private investment.
The EDA University Center program stimulates economic development by leveraging the infrastructure, technology and research capacity of higher education institutions.
A The 2016 EDA award to RCBI resulted in the creation of 22 companies, $ 4,771,550 in private leveraged investments, the provision of direct technical assistance to 169 entrepreneurs, skills development training for 10 698 people and the presentation of 231 entrepreneurs to investors.
To learn more about how RCBI’s EDA University Center can help your entrepreneurial endeavor or small business, visit www.rcbi.org/universitycenter.