Thames River Innovation Place Opens RFP to Stimulate Regional Innovation Ecosystem and Blue Economy

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. Non-profits, for-profits, individuals, and municipalities are all encouraged to apply by August 21st.

TRIP defines the BlueTech 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. The region’s Blue Economy. extends to any activity bolstered by the presence of the River, including but not limited to hospitality, tourism, arts, etc.

Under the RFP, the organization has named a number of priorities, and is looking for projects that take an inclusive approach to supporting local entrepreneurs, pair aspiring entrepreneurs with mentors, and market the region to new customers, businesses, and residents. TRIP will also entertain applications that provide innovative solutions for tackling local challenges related to COVID-19. “We are in search of the ideas that can push the Thames River Region forward,” says Liz Pasqualini, TRIP Executive Director. Projects selected under the RFP will define TRIP’s $1.5M portfolio of projects that will be presented to CTNext for approval at the end of September.

Projects funded through the Innovation Places Program must be matched by non-state funds and will result in more than $3M in investment between the communities of Groton and New London.

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