Application process

In celebrating exceptional achievement of innovation economy initiatives, the awards program:

  • Requires applicants to provide a clear explanation of the need for the initiative, a logical approach to addressing the need,   and demonstrable results;
  • Is highly selective with applications reviewed by a committee of distinguished current and former practitioners; and,
  • Is rigorous, but fair, in its evaluation.

Awards will be presented only for exceptional achievement; therefore, SSTI reserves the right to withhold an award in a particular category if no applications are deemed as meeting the standards of the award.

Entry guidelines

Each entry must include a completed registration form, cover page, narrative, and payment of entry fee. The narrative document must be typed on a maximum of five 8.5” by 11” pages using a minimum font size of 11 points.

New in 2017: Applications are required to use the official awards cover page, downloadable versions are available at Applications without the official cover page will not be considered for judging.

Many initiatives can cross into multiple categories. Nominations can be submitted for more than one category; however, each entry is considered a separate nomination and requires a separate registration form, narrative, and application fee. It is up to the applicant to determine the proper category for their initiative; entries with no award category marked or multiple categories marked, will not be considered. Applicants can win in only one category.


Any economic development organization or practitioner is eligible to apply. This includes, but is not limited to: nonprofit organizations; local and state governments; institutions of higher education (including community colleges); federal agencies and labs; industry associations; economic development councils; and other organizations that promote innovation and technology-based economic development.

While SSTI encourages its members to apply, you do not need to be a member of SSTI to enter or receive an award, and your membership status will not affect the judges’ evaluation of your application.


Deadline for applications and payment is May 26, 2017, by 5 p.m. EDT.

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