The EDA Center at the University of Minnesota, Crookston is one of more than 40 university centers nationwide, supported by the Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. The EDA Center conducts applied research, provides direct technical assistance and delivers educational programs to economic development agencies that support the economy of economically-distressed rural communities throughout Minnesota.
This Request for Assistance (RFA) is designed to solicit requests from community, county and regional economic development agencies seeking direct technical assistance to support their economic development activities. This RFA will be the mechanism by which the EDA Center will identify its annual technical assistance projects.
Only public and tribal-supported and/or nonprofit economic development agencies supporting rural areas are eligible to request assistance.
The EDA Center does not specifically define the types of assistance that rural economic development agencies may need. Accordingly, the EDA Center will accept and review all requests for assistance from eligible applicants. However, there are some core competencies of the University that may help guide such requests. These include:
- Market Research
- Technology Studies
- Workforce Development Studies & Support
- Economic Impact Analysis
- Student-supported Projects and Internships
- Product Development Assistance
- Strategic Planning Services
- Statistical Studies
- Technology Deployment Planning
- Support of Entrepreneurial Program Development
Due to the constraints of EDA funding, project time lines should be 1-year or less.
The EDA Center does not have any specific cost formulas or matching requirements in its provision of technical assistance, however we anticipate average project costs not to exceed $20,000. With that said, the EDA Center is interested in developing partnerships with economic development agencies instead of simply functioning as an outside consultant. Accordingly, projects where the responsibilities and costs are supported by both the EDA Center and the economic development agency are preferred, but not required.
All project requests will be analyzed by the EDA Center faculty for staff costs and time commitments.
The EDA Center will prioritize project requests based on the following criteria:
- The project is located in an economically-distressed area.
- The project's impact on job creation, recruitment or retention.
- The project's impact on the effectiveness of the economic development agency.
- The project can be completed in 1-year or less.
- Project costs.
The application process to request assistance from the EDA Center is simple and streamlined. Simply complete the RFA application along with a cover letter.
Each application cycle has its own deadlines identified at our website at www.umcedacenter.org
Selvig Hall 208C