Thames River Innovation Place Announces $370K in Funding  Available to Stimulate Regional Innovation

Thames River Innovation Places (TRIP) has released a ​Request for  Proposals​ soliciting new ideas that leverage and enhance the local Blue Economy to  benefit the region as a whole. Non-profits, for-profits, and individuals are all  encouraged to apply by February 14. 

The Thames River serves as an economic artery to Groton and New London. TRIP has  embraced the River and the Blue Economy that flows from it, as a centerpiece to the  activities it funds. According to TRIP Executive Director Liz Pasqualini, “Looking at  regional development through this lens allows us to take a cohesive, strategic  approach to strengthening our local economy.”

TRIP defines the ​BlueTech/Blue Economy​ space as a convergence of traditional  maritime industries with the advanced technology sector, covering a broad  spectrum of activities, for the mutual economic benefit of the greater Thames River  region. 

Under the current RFP, the organization has named a number of priorities including,  increasing community vibrancy, inclusively supporting and celebrating  entrepreneurs, and identifying and filling market opportunities related to Thames  River. “Groton and New London both have a wealth of organizations, companies, and  individuals passionate about the area. This funding is an opportunity for us to invest  in their ideas for making the region stronger,” says Kimberly Kelly, TRIP Board Chair.

Projects selected under the RFP will join a larger collection of projects already in  progress as part of the Thames River Innovation’s Year Three Portfolio. A total of  $1.5M in State funds have been allocated for the Thames River Region, which will be  matched locally to represent more than $3M in investment between the two towns. 

Thames River Innovation is funded under the CTNext Innovation Places Program.  CTNext​ is a public/private network of entrepreneurs, mentors, service providers and  others helping Connecticut’s most promising startups succeed and grow. In 2016,  CTNext expanded to new initiatives helping key places in the state become magnets  for talent, supporting entrepreneurship in higher education, and focusing more on  growth-stage companies. The first of these efforts, Innovation Places, launched on  July 1, 2017 with Stamford, New Haven, Hartford/East Hartford, and Thames River as  its four awardees. It weaves together entrepreneurship support and  relationship-building with physical planning and development.