EDA Regional Tech Hubs

Welcome to the coordination page for 
North Carolina organizations interested in pursuing 
the EDA Regional Tech Hubs program!

EDA Tech Hubs Logo

The U.S. Economic Development Administration's (EDA) Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs) program is an economic development initiative designed to drive regional technology- and innovation-centric growth by strengthening a region’s capacity to manufacture, commercialize, and deploy critical technologies. For more details, see the EDA's Tech Hubs website.

The Tech Hubs program will invest directly in regions with the assets, resources, capacity, and potential to transform into globally competitive innovation centers in approximately 10 years while catalyzing the creation of good jobs for American workers at all skill levels, both equitably and inclusively. 

EDA released a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) on May 12, 2023 for Phase 1 of the Tech Hubs Program. Applications were due by August 15, 2023. 

**NEWS: On October 23, 2023, EDA announced the designation of the inaugural 31 Tech Hubs, as well as recipients of 29 Tech Hubs Strategy Development Grants. Two North Carolina consortia were awarded Strategy Development grants. For more details, see the EDA's Tech Hubs website.

If you have questions, please contact the Executive Staff (specifically, John Hardin) of the Office of Science, Technology & Innovation (OSTI). Also see the NC Commerce Role section below.

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The NC Department of Commerce, in conjunction with the Office of the North Carolina Governor, the NC Office of State Budget, and Management, the NC Board of Science, Technology & Innovation, the NC Community College System and other executive branch organizations, worked to strategize, coordinate, facilitate, and support NC-based consortia, as well as consortia that include both public and private NC-based organizations to a significant degree, that submitted a Tech Hubs Phase 1 application under the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Now that the initial round of awards has been announced, the organizations above are continuing their supporting role for the consortia that won awards and/or that plan to submit applications under future rounds of funding.

If you are interested in the Tech Hubs opportunity and would like to be kept up to date on initiatives across the state, please complete the brief Information Form below to be added to the Department of Commerce’s contact list and so that we can know more about your interest in the Tech Hubs opportunity. 

All information below is non-binding; we realize that, going forward, your Tech Hubs plans may change. The information you provide below will simply help the NC Department of Commerce coordinate, facilitate, and support consortia. The information you submit will help us help you!

As outlined in the NOFO, only consortia are eligible to apply under this particular NOFO. 

Eligible consortia must include one or more of each of the following to be eligible for this opportunity:  

  1. Institutions of higher education, which may include Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges or Universities, and Minority Serving Institutions; 
  2. State, territorial, local, or Tribal governments or other political subdivisions of a State, or a consortium thereof;
  3. Industry groups or firms in relevant technology, innovation, or manufacturing sectors; 
  4. Economic development organizations or similar entities focused primarily on improving science, technology, innovation, entrepreneurship, or access to capital; and
  5. Labor organizations or workforce training organizations. 

Consortia may also include one or more of:

  1. Economic development entities with relevant expertise, including a district organization (as defined in section 300.3 of title 13, Code of Federal Regulations, or successor regulation);
  2. Organizations that contribute to increasing the participation of underserved populations in science, technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship;
  3. Venture development organizations (as defined in 15 U.S.C. § 3722(a));
  4. Organizations that promote local economic stability, high-wage domestic jobs, and broad- based economic opportunities, such as employee ownership membership associations and State or local employee ownerships and cooperative development centers, financial institutions and investment funds, including community development financial institutions (see 12 U.S.C. § 4702(5)) and minority depository institutions (see 12 U.S.C. § 1463 note or considered a minority depository institution by the appropriate Federal banking agency or the National Credit Union Administration);
  5. Elementary schools and secondary schools, including area career and technical education schools (as defined in section 3 of the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (29 2 U.S.C. § 2302));
  6. National Laboratories (as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 15801);
  7. Federal laboratories;
  8. Manufacturing Extension Partnership centers;
  9. Manufacturing USA Institutes;
  10. Transportation planning organizations;
  11. A cooperative extension services (as defined in 7 U.S.C. § 3103(6));
  12. Organizations that represent the perspectives of underserved communities in economic development initiatives; and
  13. Institutions receiving an award under the National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines program (42 U.S.C. § 19108)

See the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for more details.

Applicants to the Phase 1 NOFO must choose whether they are pursuing a Strategy Development Grant, a Tech Hub Designation, or both (see figure below).

EDA anticipates approximately $15,000,000 in total being awarded in Phase 1 as Strategy Development Grants. Such grants will at maximum be awarded between approximately $400,000 and $500,000 in federal funds each depending on the level of local match for which they qualify. Designation itself does not come with any funding, although EDA may award a Strategy Development Grant to a Designated Tech Hub. Designation also serves as a prerequisite to applying to the Tech Hubs Phase 2 NOFO, through which Implementation Grants will be awarded.

See the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for more details.

The key technology focus areas under this NOFO are:

  1. Artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomy, and related advances;
  2. High performance computing, semiconductors, and advanced computer hardware and software;
  3. Quantum information science and technology;
  4. Robotics, automation, and advanced manufacturing;
  5. Natural and anthropogenic disaster prevention or mitigation;
  6. Advanced communications technology and immersive technology;
  7. Biotechnology, medical technology, genomics, and synthetic biology;
  8. Data storage, data management, distributed ledger technologies, and cybersecurity, including biometrics;
  9. Advanced energy and industrial efficiency technologies, such as batteries and advanced nuclear technologies, including but not limited to for the purposes of electric generation (consistent with 42 U.S.C. § 1874); and
  10. Advanced materials science, including composites 2D materials, other next-generation materials, and related manufacturing technologies.

See the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for more details.

EDA defines a Tech Hub’s geography as a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or a similar area (including Micropolitan Statistical Areas (μSAs) or tightly interconnected combinations of MSAs and/or μSAs) with a concentration of assets, capital, R&D, labor market, and infrastructure strongly relevant to the Hub’s selected core technology area, the Hub’s identified market opportunity, and its potential to become globally competitive in that given sector, industry, and/or area within a decade. Applicants should identify their chosen geography as part of their application. Consortia may include assets or members outside their chosen geography—e.g., in nonmetro rural areas or partnerships with geographically distant but tightly mission-aligned organizations—that support the consortium’s strategy and benefit the Tech Hub. If you have questions about whether you are an eligible entity, please contact TechHubs@eda.gov

See the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for more details.

Information Form

Column Paragraph
Indicates required field
NC County (where organization is located)

If your organization is not based in NC, select "Other" at the bottom of the list.

Key Technology Focus Areas (KFTAs) (check all that may be a focus of your proposal)
Relevant Metropolitan Statistical Area(s) (check all that may be a focus of your proposal)
Relevant Micropolitan Statistical Area(s) (check all that may be a focus of your proposal; if none apply, leave blank)