U.S. Department of Commerce Awards $29 Million In Sprint Challenge Grants To Respond To Coronavirus Pandemic

U.S. Department of Commerce Awards $29 Million In Sprint Challenge Grants To Respond To Coronavirus Pandemic

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that $289 million will be awarded to 44 organizations as part of the Economic Development Administration’s SPRINT challenge.

The SPRINT (Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology) challenge was launched last year to harness America’s entrepreneurial spirit to address the economic, health, and safety issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Those receiving funding include non-profits, colleges and universities and entrepreneurship-focused organizations. Grant recipients will receive funding between $200,000 and $750,000.

“The Biden Administration applauds the SPRINT Challenge awardees’ efforts to pivot to help their communities through difficult times quickly,” Raimondo said in a statement. “American entrepreneurship and innovation will help our country through this coronavirus pandemic and build back better, stronger, and more resilient.”

The projects being worked on include the University of California, Los Angeles’ LA-R2C Accelerator which will leverage bioscience technologies to boost COVID prevention, diagnosis, treatment and health equity. The Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation will use the grant to accelerate digital health innovations for family caregivers and healthcare providers.

The Pacific Northwest Economic Region Foundation will use the grant to safely reopen tourism and performing arts industries in southeast Alaska and the Central Puget Sound Region.

The grant recipients were selected from a poll of 238 applicants, located in 25 states and Puerto Rico, and will leverage almost $9 million in additional matching funds from the public and private sectors.

“The SPRINT Challenge builds on EDA’s efforts to work with communities to build strong regional economies,” Dennis Alvord, acting Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development said. “Our grantees’ projects are laser-focused on using innovation to help America overcome the economic, health, and safety challenges brought on by the pandemic.”

Other grant winners from the SPRINT challenge include the AgLaunch Initiative, Champion Impact Capital, Chicostart, the City University of New York, Greater New Orleans Development Foundation, and Gulf of Maine Research Institute.

The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the United States. More than 31.5 million Americans have been infected with COVID-19 and more than 570,000 Americans have died from it.