Rural Communities Rising to the (i6) Challenge
The American innovative and entrepreneurial spirit has long provided a foundation for our strong economy. This is no less true in rural regions.
In its new form as part of EDA’s Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program, the 2014 i6 Challenge aimed to make targeted, strategic investments in a broader range of communities.
Of the more than 240 applications that EDA received for RIS Program funds, rural and other non-metropolitan communities represented a substantial subset of both the i6 Challenge and the Cluster Grants for Seed Capital Funds competition.
EDA recently announced the 2014 grantees for these competitions, and a number of rural applicants submitted compelling proposals to catalyze innovation-based economic development in their communities. In light of President Obama’s recent announcement of the i6 Rural Challenge, we want to highlight some of the 2014 RIS Program’s rural grantees.
These grantees stand out not only for having identified underutilized or unconnected resources but also for developing promising programs to help utilize those resources, to connect them to rural innovators and entrepreneurs, and ultimately to stimulate the creation and growth, from the ground up, of sustainable, job-creating companies.