By: James Carskadon, MSU OPA. Photo by Russ Houston.

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Spurred by a grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Mississippi State University’s Office of Outreach and Corporate Engagement will continue to promote innovation and use its resources to strengthen the regional economy.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross recently announced MSU was one of 22 colleges and universities to receive a grant under the 2017 University Center Economic Development Program Competition.

“The University Center program can be an important vehicle in marshaling the resources of local colleges and universities in support of regional economic development strategies,” Ross said. “These higher education institutions will work to build the public-private partnerships that are so vital to helping America stay competitive in the 21st century.”

Jeffrey Rupp (Photo by Russ Houston)

Jeffrey Rupp, outreach director for MSU’s College of Business, said MSU will receive nearly $600,000 over five years as part of the program. MSU has received continuous grant funding from this economic development program for about 20 years.

“The renewal of this grant by the EDA confirms the work Mississippi State is doing to leverage all the tools of the university to help entrepreneurs and existing businesses around the state maximize their potential,” Rupp said. “As the only center of its kind in the state, we take our economic development role very seriously.”

EDA grants fund initiatives focused on advancing regional commercialization efforts, entrepreneurship, innovation, business expansion in a region’s innovation cluster and high-skilled regional workforce.

The College of Business’ Office of Outreach and Corporate Engagement helps entrepreneurs and start-ups. It facilitates MBA field study teams, providing market research and technical assistance to businesses in the areas of information systems, media strategy, family enterprise issues and workforce staffing.

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