EDA University Center
The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) first established the Center for Regional Development as an EDA University Center in 1996. The CRD University Center is a joint Center with Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs known as the Rural Universities Consortium. The Rural Universities Consortium covers 59 of the 88 counties in Ohio with CRD serving 27 counties in northwest Ohio and the Voinovich School serving 32 counties in southeast Ohio.
The EDA University Center Economic Development program is designed to make the extensive resources of universities available to the economic development community. Key to the program is supporting economic development strategies in regions of chronic and acute economic distress. University Centers represent long-term partnerships between the federal government and academia in economic development. CRD received another five years of funding from the EDA for the University Center program in 2016. The $1.5 million ($750k in federal funding and $750k in match from BGSU and OU) allows the center to partner with economic developers and businesses on expansion and attraction projects, applied research, and economic engagement in underserved rural communities.