grants

EDA announces University Center Competition winners

The EDA University Center Economic Development Program Competition recently announced $2.5 million in grants awarded to 25 colleges and universities in the Chicago and Philadelphia EDA regions to leverage assets, promote innovation and strengthen regional economies. The goal of these awards is “to boost innovation, create good-paying jobs and ensure American competitiveness in the global economy” while funding research as well as innovation economy development services.

$46.4 million announced for 57 new POWER grants

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) recently announced its largest POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) grant package to date, investing nearly $46.4 million into 57 projects across 184 counties. The award aims to leverage entrepreneurship, workforce development, and infrastructure to bolster re-employment opportunities, create jobs in existing or new industries, and attract new sources of investment. To date, ARC has awarded over $287 million and supported 362 projects, benefitting 353 coal-impacted communities.

New Manufacturing USA Technology Roadmap grant competition announced

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a new competition for awards to support industry-driven consortia in developing technology roadmaps that will address high-priority research challenges to grow the advanced manufacturing sector in the U.S. and is inviting applications to its Manufacturing USA Technology Roadmap (MfgTech) grants program.

EDA awards $29 million in SPRINT Challenge grants

A total of $29 million in grants will be awarded to 44 organizations across the country as part of the Scaling Pandemic Resilience through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge provided by the Economic Development Administration. The SPRINT Challenge, with grants ranging from between $200,000 to $750,000, was developed last year with the goal of addressing the health and economic risks brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic through investments in entrepreneurship and innovation.

$2M in STEM Challenge Grants awarded

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) has announced the seven recipients of the inaugural STEM Talent Challenge, awarding a total of $2 million in grants through the inaugural STEM Talent Challenge, which aims to boost local science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) talent. Three SSTI members were among the seven winners: Ohio University received a $295,643 grant in the digital manufacturing sector; University City Science Center won a $246,179 grant in biotechnology/cell and gene therapy; and, the University of Michigan won $300,000 in grant money in the advanced manufacturing and cybersecurity sector. More information on all of the recipients is available here. The funding opportunity kicked off in August 2020 to further build STEM workforce readiness and spur innovation.

OMB provides guidance on flexibility for federal grant funding

Just days after the first reported US death from COVID-19, federal grant recipients capable of performing essential research and services related to COVID-19 were provided with additional flexibilities to the terms of their contracts and supplied with additional administrative resources to pivot their efforts towards combatting the virus. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to grow and disrupt all sectors of the economy, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has now issued guidance to the heads of all federal grant-making agencies, offering short-term emergency flexibilities and administrative relief.

$44.4 million announced in new POWER grants

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) announced $44.4 million in 54 awards to help expand and diversify the economy in Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities through the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization (POWER) Initiative. One third (more than $14.6 million) of these investments will develop business incubators, increase access to capital, and provide other services to advance entrepreneurship in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Nearly 30 percent (over $13 million) will support broadband development and expansion in rural and/or underserved areas in New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. And another 19 percent ($8.3 million) will focus on workforce-to-recovery and other comprehensive strategies to strengthen the recovery ecosystem in Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.  A full list of the awards and more information about the POWER Initiative is available here.

NSF Convergence Accelerator Pilot Program issues first round of awards

NSF is issuing its first set of awards from the Convergence Accelerator Pilot. The new program is intended to accelerate use-inspired, convergence research in areas of national importance through partnerships between academic and non-academic stakeholders. The Convergence Accelerator (C-Accel) pilot program focuses on two of the NSF’s “10 Big Ideas” and emphasizes the importance of deliverable-oriented, multidisciplinary teams.

NSF gearing up to fund new quantum research institutes

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has announced awards for Conceptualization Grants (CG) for Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes, which are large-scale interdisciplinary research projects that aim to advance the frontiers of quantum information science and engineering. The CG awards, up to $150,000 each, are to support teams as they work toward the overall challenge research theme and focus areas for a future Challenge Institute proposal. The next phase will fund 5-year Challenge Institute awards to establish and operate Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes. Research at these institutes will span the focus areas of quantum computation, quantum communication, quantum simulation and/or quantum sensing.  The institutes are expected to foster multidisciplinary approaches to specific scientific, technological, educational workforce development goals in these fields. More information on the winners of the Conceptualization Grants and future rounds of funding are available here.

DOL announces apprenticeship awards, new funding, seeks public comment

The Department of Labor recently announced awards totaling $183.8 million in Scaling Apprenticeships Through Sector-Based Strategies grants. Funded through H-1B visa fees, the grants will support the training of more than 85,000 apprentices. The grantees include 23 academic institutions and grant-matching industry consortia representing 18 states, and includes three SSTI members — the University of Cincinnati, Lorain County Community College and the State University of New York Research Foundation.

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