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Product Development Initiative

KAED Issues RFP for Transformative Product Development Initiative

The KAED Product Development Initiative (PDI) is an investment program through which leveraged funds shall be disseminated to Kentucky economic development organizations and local governments via grant awards for physical asset, capital improvement projects1 in years 2019, 2020, and 2021. The 9 million-dollar PDI fund is to be evenly distributed each program year via grant awards not to exceed $500,000. Grants shall be awarded per recommendation of independent consultant according to competitive evaluation and scoring matrix relative to ROI.
The KAED Product Development Initiative is designed to mitigate inventory challenges via strategic investment to enhance quantity and quality of product, to address lack of capital in market, and to also encourage collaboration among Kentucky economic developers and stakeholders. Applicants must demonstrate fiscal match that will vary depending upon location. Responses are due to KAED by September 17.

KAED & KCED Announce Multi-Million Dollar Product Development Initiative

In today’s economic development landscape, competition is fierce and companies want to make quicker, risk-free decisions like never before. As a result of record breaking success, Kentucky has a shortage of high quality sites and buildings. Therefore, at our recent KAED Collaboration Conference, CED Commissioner John Bevington unveiled a concept for which he has requested KAED’s help. For those who were not able to attend, the great news is that the state is prepared to partner with us to increase our inventory and exposure with a product development initiative. I’m happy to report that the initial response and commitment of funds is promising. However, we are only getting started. To recap, here are the highlights from John’s presentation:


This product development effort must be collaborative, and require third party verification to ensure the greatest chance for return on investment.

This process would include KAED hiring a site selection consultant who would evaluate RFI responses from communities/regions wishing to apply for capital improvement project funds. A community submitting an RFI would have to include a matching fund mechanism, using public or private funds. The consultant would grade the proposals based on the expected return on investment, and communities/regions that demonstrate a business plan for success. The consultant would then recommend sites/buildings to CED that should receive investment. Communities/regions that are not approved will be provided valuable feedback from the consultant which can help with future funding rounds.

Before this can begin, however, KAED must raise funds to hire the consultant. Once that happens, the evaluation of projects can begin and communities can identify the matching funds needed.

Here’s where we need your help. We must raise a substantial sum of money to hire the third party consultant. While the initial commitments have been fast and very encouraging, we are asking for more communities, utility companies and other partners to become involved.

CED has pledged that if we can get the money raised to hire a consultant each year for the next three years, they will provide $9 million of funding, spread over a three year period, for the actual site/building investment. This is an unprecedented initiative for which we are very appreciative.

To accelerate economic development in the Commonwealth, #TeamKentucky must act aggressively and collaboratively. The success of this initiative is dependent on the efficient and successful development of capital necessary to secure the site selection consultant. As such, KAED staff and representatives will be connecting with you to discuss your investment in this transformative program.