UD gets $509,615 economic development grant


The University of Delaware’s Spin In program, won a five-year $509,615 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

The announcement came from Alejandra Castillo, assistant secretary of commerce for economic development, during a visit with U.S. Sen. Tom Carper at UD’s Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus last week.

The grant comes through EDA’s University Center Economic Development Program, designed to connect valuable university assets around the nation — including faculty, staff, students, researchers, laboratories, and instruments — with businesses, manufacturers, nonprofits, and government agencies in their regions. The goal is to build innovative, resilient, inclusive economic ecosystems.

UD is one of 25 colleges and universities to receive a total of $2.5 million in grants in the 2021 EDA competition.

“We have an historic opportunity to invest in economic development and build back better in communities all across the country,” Castillo says.

Such partnerships are more critical now than ever, Castillo said, “as we have an historic opportunity to invest in economic development and build back better in communities all across the country.

The Spin In program provides students with opportunities that help to develop a strong workforce. Teams have unique opportunities to solve business problems within a real entrepreneurial start-up environment, said Amalea Rassias, who manages the program for UD. It all leads to development of new products, businesses with scalable opportunities, jobs and a highly skilled workforce that supports regional industries and initiatives.

“This positions the program to scale up and create that broader impact,” she said.

“There has been an amazing transformation of this place,” U.S. Sen. Tom Carper said. “We’ll soon have more working here than ever worked in the Chrysler plant and they’ll be good-paying jobs.”

“Today’s announcement is great news for economic development in our region, building upon the success of the STAR Campus,” said Carper, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “EDA’s investment in Delaware — from right here at the STAR Campus to the Innovation Space in Wilmington to the Automotive Center for Excellence at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown — is paying dividends to Delaware’s economy.”

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