Rhode Island Innovation Campus

Innovation Campus Project Background, Goals & Timeline

The Executive Office of Commerce, in partnership with URI, is pleased to invite teams of experienced industry, academic, real estate, and research organizations to propose transformative Innovation Campuses in Rhode Island.

The State, under the leadership of Governor Gina M. Raimondo, is committed to advancing its innovation economy, attracting new investment and creating high-value jobs. In November 2016, Rhode Island voters approved a $20 million bond issue to create one or more Innovation Campus(es) that will connect leading industry, academic, and research entities. In May 2017, the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (RICC) issued an Invitation for Expressions of Interest for the Innovation Campus.

After receiving strong initial Expressions of Interest from many industry sectors, the EOC is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to aid in the selection of one or more RI Innovation Campus team(s) through a competitive process.  The requested State investment is preferred to be $5M to $20M, with a minimum requested State investment of $1M required. Respondents will be obligated to provide a funding match that exceeds the State’s financial commitment of bond proceeds. Detailed requirements and directions for submissions, as well as guidelines for uses of funds, are found below in Section 3 of this RFP.  A selection committee will be organized as described further in Section 5 (the “Selection Committee”) to consider applicants’ proposals.

A successful Innovation Campus will achieve the following goals for Rhode Island:

  • Foster collaboration between industry, academic partners, and research entities;
  • Create new high-value innovation jobs;
  • Advance Rhode Island’s leading innovation clusters; and
  • Catalyze increased private sector investment in Rhode Island.

Rhode Island’s leading industries and strong research and educational institutions offer a solid foundation for prospective teams. The Innovation Campus will create an opportunity for a team of industry, academic, real estate, and research partners to establish or expand their presence in Rhode Island, create jobs, and catalyze the growth of an innovation cluster.

The Innovation Campus will consist of one or more physical facilities (dedicated or shared) that will provide space for collaboration between URI, the State’s flagship public university, and other academic and industry partners. Innovation Campus models from around the world, including the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research, the Tannery Innovation Center, and the Bridge at Cornell Tech, demonstrate the value of close collaboration between academic and industry partners.


A listing of important events with deadlines for this RFP follows:


RFP Posting Date Friday 12/15/2017
Questions Deadline Tuesday 01/16/2018 2:00PM EST
Questions & Answers Posted Monday 01/29/2018
RFP Submission Deadline (“Due Date”) Friday 3/02/2018 2:00PM EST
Respondent Interviews Spring 2018
Selection Committee Decision Spring 2018
Grant Award Date Spring/Summer 2018
Final Contract(s) Summer 2018


RFP Submissions

Responses to the RFP may be submitted directly to riinovationcampus@commerceri.com.