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Rural Innovation Initiative working to bridge opportunity gap

November 29, 2018

Rural communities across the country have the opportunity to build capacity to create innovation-based jobs with a new initiative spearheaded by the Center on Rural Innovation. Communities that are already working on building new entrepreneurship capacity will receive on-site technical assistance as they execute an innovation hub strategy. Those communities will need to secure live-work space for the hub, raise up to $500,000 in operating funding and apply for matching funds at the end of Q1 2019.

 Successful communities will ideally have a combination of the following attributes:

  • Existing high-speed broadband;
  • Available real estate, or significant portions of the community located in New Market Tax Credit census tracts and/or Opportunity Zones;
  • Proximity to a selective, 4-year endowed residential college or university campus willing to partner; and
  • A willing non-profit organization prepared to lead the initiative.

Interested communities should complete an interest form by Jan. 15, 2019, and while there is no cost to apply, the Center on Rural Innovation notes in its release that “participation will take a real commitment of time and energy from local organizations during the project period.” The initiative is made possible through a cooperative agreement between the Rural Innovations Strategies, Inc., and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

rural, innovation