Finalists announced for $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo has announced the 60 finalists for the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s (EDA) $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge, which aims to boost economic pandemic recovery in American communities. The Build Back Better Regional Challenge will provide investment grants of up to $100 million per grantee to develop and strengthen regional industry clusters across the country.
The 60 finalists—each a coalition of partnering entities—were selected from a pool of 529 applicants, and will receive a grant of approximately $500,000 to further develop their proposed projects. The finalists will now compete for Phase 2 of the Challenge, which will award 20-30 regional coalitions up to $100 million to implement three-eight projects that support an industry sector. The deadline for Phase 2 is March 15, 2022.
The proposed projects come from 45 states and Puerto Rico and represent industry sectors that are unique to each region, including advanced manufacturing; aerospace and defense; agriculture and natural resources; biotechnology and biomanufacturing; energy and resilience; health care and digital health; information technology; transportation; construction and logistics; and water and blue economy.
“The Build Back Better Regional Challenge aims to supercharge local economies and increase American competitiveness around the globe,” Sec. Raimondo said in announcing the finalists. “The outpouring of interest in this program shows the demand for the Build Back Better agenda and the desire to not only create good-paying jobs, but also strengthen our country’s economic resiliency for years down the road.”
Alejandra Y. Castillo, assistant secretary of commerce for EDA, added: “We are thrilled to help communities work together—in coalitions of government, nonprofits, academia, the private sector, and others—to craft ambitious and regionally unique plans to rebuild their communities,” said “These projects will help revitalize local economies and tackle our biggest challenges related to climate change, manufacturing, supply chains and more. EDA is proud to ignite these plans and help communities nationwide build back better.”