LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, a nonprofit organization based in North Little Rock that promotes entrepreneurship, said Tuesday it will expand its operations into eastern Arkansas.

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, a nonprofit organization based in North Little Rock that promotes entrepreneurship, said Tuesday it will expand its operations into eastern Arkansas.


The expansion will be aided by a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s i6 Challenge program.


The EDA awarded the grant this week to Arkansas State University’s Delta Center for Economic Development. The center will leverage local, state and federal partnerships for a total of $1.39 million to fund creation of the East Arkansas Regional Innovation System, according to a news release from the Innovation Hub.


"The Innovation Hub is pleased to be part of a collaborative effort that secured the first EDA i6 Challenge grant ever awarded in Arkansas," said state Rep. Warwick Sabin, D-Little Rock, the organization’s executive director. "We look forward to working with our other East Arkansas partners to bring the resources and services that will support entrepreneurship and create more opportunities to develop, retain and attract talent in that part of our state."


The East Arkansas system will include a hub in downtown Jonesboro, to be called the Proof of Concept Center Regional Innovation Hub, that will provide a maker space and co-working space; commercialization centers on the ASU campuses in Jonesboro; and satellite innovation sites in Crittenden, Lawrence, Mississippi and St. Francis counties.