The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today the support for 10 regional economic development and job creation efforts and amongst those recognized is the Illinois Smart Grid Regional Innovation Cluster (ISG-RIC).
The pilot program supports small businesses participation in regional economic “clusters” – collaborations between small businesses, the public sector, economic development and other organizations.
The 10 “Innovative Economies” awardees were selected from among 173 applicants to participate in the pilot program and represent a wide range of diverse geographic areas and industries. SBA’s funding will be provided to each cluster to strengthen opportunities for small businesses within the cluster. The funds can be used to provide services, including mentoring and counseling small businesses, as well as to attract more small business participation.
The ISG-RIC is a collaboration of more than 100 entities (including 70 businesses) in the Chicago region, focused on the acceleration of Smart Grid innovation, deployments, and new market development. The Smart Grid is a convergence of technological and investment interests across multiple sectors, focused on using advanced technology to improve inefficient and outdated electric transmission infrastructure.