Regional Innovation Clusters

Geographically concentrated groups of organizations that work together to support the growth of small businesses and their related industry.

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Regional Innovation Cluster Solicitation – Open Now

The fiscal year (FY) 2024 solicitation for the Regional Innovation Cluster (RIC) Initiative is currently open. All proposals are due by July 26, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

SBA’s Investment and Innovation Ecosystem Development will host a webinar discussing the RIC Initiative and solicitation on July 9, 2024 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Register for the webinar.

Interested offerors have until July 11, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. ET to submit any questions related to the solicitation to RICInitiative2024@sba.gov.

List of Regional Innovation Clusters

RICs build business support networks. They help small business start and grow. RICs can provide services like accelerators, incubators, and market research. They can also help with contracts and exporting. 

Want to work with a RIC? Find one that focuses on your field or region below:

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient Innovation Center

Region served: Missouri
Technologies/Industries supported: Pharmaceutical, medical supply chain

Defense Alliance

Region served: Upper Midwest (Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin)
Technologies/Industries supported: Defense, aerospace, high-technology for both federal and commercial markets

The eidotech project

Region served: Montana
Technologies/Industries supported: Smart sensing systems, photonics

Larta Institute

Region served: Greater Los Angeles Area
Technologies/Industries supported: Health impact in bioscience and healthcare, AI in healthcare, sustainability

Mid-South MS Delta Ag Innovation Cluster

Region served: Mid-South Delta region along the Mississippi River (counties in Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee)
Technologies/Industries supported: Early-stage agtechnologies and agri-food value chain businesses, including but not limited to:

  • specialty crops, including new grains for beverage and food markets
  • regenerative and organic agriculture and carbon markets
  • new uses for forestry products
  • pasture-raised livestock
  • local value-added products
  • farm-to-market opportunities leveraging novel technologies
  • bioenergy

Pacific Northwest Agri-Food Cluster 

Region served: Willamette Valley region (counties in Oregon and Washington)
Technologies/Industries supported: Early-stage agtechnologies and agri-food value chain businesses, including but not limited to:

  • specialty crops, including new grains for beverage and food markets
  • regenerative and organic agriculture and carbon markets
  • new uses for forestry products
  • pasture-raised livestock
  • local value-added products
  • farm-to-market opportunities leveraging novel technologies
  • bioenergy

New Jersey Cybersecurity Regional Cluster

Region served: Tri-State area (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut)
Technologies/Industries supported: IT, cybersecurity

Startup Junkie Consulting, LLC

Region served: Ozark region (counties in Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma)
Technologies/Industries supported: 

  • Retail/retail technology
  • Food/food technology
  • Supply chain/supply chain technology
  • Artificial intelligence/machine learning
  • Cybersecurity
  • Health tech

Southern Appalachian Agri-Food Cluster

Region served: Southern Appalachian region (counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia)
Technologies/Industries supported: Early-stage agtechnologies and agri-food value chain businesses, including but not limited to:

  • specialty crops, including new grains for beverage and food markets
  • regenerative and organic agriculture and carbon markets
  • new uses for forestry products
  • pasture-raised livestock
  • local value-added products
  • farm-to-market opportunities leveraging novel technologies
  • bioenergy

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Cluster

Region served: Oklahoma
Technologies/Industries supported: Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

Unmanned Coast

Region served: Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama
Technologies/Industries supported: Unmanned maritime systems

Need help?

You can learn more about RICs through the most recent solicitation and awards. If you have any questions about RICs or about accessing services from a RIC, please email RICs@sba.gov.

RICs are managed by SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation (OII). 

Last updated July 2, 2024