Bluegrass Business Development Partnership wins EDA innovation award

Editor's note:The Bluegrass Business Development Partnership is an economic development initiative between Lexington city government, Commerce Lexington and the UK Office for Commercialization & Economic Development (UKCED). The Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, the Lexington Innovation & Commercialization Center and the Kentucky Small Business Development Center, including the Bluegrass Small Business Development Center, are part of UKCED.


ATLANTA, Ga. (Oct. 25, 2010) —U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development John Fernandez today announced the winners of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) 2010 Innovation in Economic Development Awards during the Southeast Workforce and Economic Development Conference co-hosted by EDA and the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration.


"The 2010 Innovation Award winners showcase some of the nation's best practices for promoting economic development through collaborative initiatives and highlight outstanding examples of regional success in the global marketplace," said Fernandez. "I congratulate all the winners for their tremendous contributions to strengthen our nation's economy."


Formerly known as the Excellence Awards, this year's awards encompass four categories: Innovation in Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs); Innovation in Commercialization; Innovation in Global Export Promotion; Innovation in Green Technology. The winners are:


Innovation in Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs) Category:
CONNECT, La Jolla, Calif.

CONNECT is a non-profit organization formed in 1985 with the mission of commercializing technology coming from San Diego's many federally-funded research institutions and offering on-going education, networking and recognition to start-up companies in emerging technology business clusters. The California Governor's Office of Economic Development designated San Diego as one of California's seven Innovation Hubs (iHUB) and CONNECT serves as the leader of San Diego's local iHUB effort.


Innovation in Commercialization Category:
Bluegrass Business Development Partnership (BBDP), Lexington, Ky.

Bluegrass Business Development Partnership is a collaboration among the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Commerce Lexington's economic development divisions, and three University of Kentucky based organizations – the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship, the Lexington office of statewide Innovation & Commercialization Centers, and the Lexington office of statewide Small Business Development Centers.


BBDP's goal is to be a one-stop, super-service provider, linking small businesses and entrepreneurs with the information they need to be successful. They offer a full range of business development services.


Innovation in Global Export Promotion Category: Pennsylvania Center for Trade Development "Envoy Program," Harrisburg, Pa.
The Envoy Program is designed to increase Pennsylvania companies' global competitiveness by providing them with a Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development-supported low-cost, low-risk, and high-performance method of building a continuous and pro-active bilingual sales and marketing presence in international markets. Envoy services vary depending on the needs of the client, but the key concept is to allow the company to employ a representative who is laser focused on implementing the sales plan, pursuing leads, developing customer, agents, and channels.


Innovation in Green Technology Category: University of Arizona Tech Park's "Solar Zone," Tucson, Ariz.
The Solar Zone, an innovative strategic partnership between the University of Arizona and Tucson Electric Power is working to create a supportive environment where companies can develop, test and demonstrate the next generation of renewable energy products and technologies. The goals of the Solar Zone are to attract private investment, create sustainable, high-wage jobs, develop a skilled workforce, reduce the region's reliance on traditional energy sources, and educate the public on the importance of sustainable energy.