Opportunity number
Economic Development Administration (EDA)
Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Due date
December 3, 2020
Community Development Economic Development Education & Workforce Entrepreneurship Information Technologies Innovation
Project funding
Up to $500,000 for 12 month, Up to $750,000 for 18 month
Program funding
Funding size
Below $1M

FY 2020 SPRINT Challenge

RFP Summary provided by the agency

FY 2020 SPRINT Challenge FAQ

Informational Webinar** Recording from October 16, 2020. View slides here

EDA is excited to announce the FY 2020 Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge. EDA is seeking applications from eligible organizations working to rapidly address the economic, health, and safety risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic through entrepreneurship and innovation.

This $25 million national competition is designed to support the development, creation, or expansion of programs that accelerate technology-based economic development in pursuit of vibrant, innovative economies and economic growth, and respond to the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. SPRINT Challenge applications will be awarded under the EDA’s Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which is authorized under Section 209 of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (PWEDA) (42 U.S.C. § 3149).

Applicant organizations should articulate a clearly defined strategy to leverage grant funds to support one or more of the following activities to help address the needs of and unique operating environment necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Scaling biotechnology, health security, and supply chain technologies to market
  • Increasing regional, national, and government connectivity to support commercialization and entrepreneurship
  • Developing new and unique investment capital models to address the financial needs of entrepreneurs
  • Developing and scaling entrepreneurship support models to address the virtual and remote work environment of the pandemic

 All Project Narratives must explain how the proposed project meets EDA’s Recovery and Resilience investment priority, which provides:

 Recovery and Resilience: Projects that assist with economic resilience (including business continuity and preparedness) and long-term recovery from natural disasters and economic shocks to ensure U.S. communities are globally competitive.

The Project Narrative should focus on Recovery and Resilience in the context of the project location and region’s innovation and entrepreneurship challenges and needs. Applicants may also demonstrate in the Project Narrative how the proposed project is consistent with one or more of EDA’s other Investment Priorities. EDA’s Investment Priorities can be found at https://www.eda.gov/about/investment-priorities.htm.

Project Areas of Focus

Biotechnology, Health Security, and Supply Chain Innovation: This focus area seeks to promote innovation and commercialization of technologies and supply chain resources that are particularly important in the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Projects and activities that align with this focus area should aim to convert ideas, research, or prototypes into viable products and services that can be brought to market in a rapid manner to respond to the urgent community health and safety needs created by the pandemic.

Entrepreneurship Support: This focus area seeks to promote technology-enabled entrepreneurialism to help diversify regional economies, so they are more resilient to economic shocks like the one caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Projects and activities that align with this focus area should generally aim to drive innovations from the initial idea phase to research and development and on towards commercialization, including supporting the development of IP; developing entrepreneurs within their regions; and/or creating ecosystems in which innovators and entrepreneurs can experiment with and create businesses and jobs from their innovations to diversify regional economies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Regional, National, and Government Connectivity: This focus area seeks to promote general regional, national, and government connectivity to address the shortages of entrepreneurship and innovation resources and support that resulted from or were exposed by the coronavirus pandemic. Projects and activities that align with this focus area should aim to connect economic development and technology commercialization resources across communities, regions, or clusters across multiple regions, to address these critical shortages created or exacerbated by the pandemic.

Access to Capital: This focus area seeks to support organizations that are addressing the urgent capital needs of entrepreneurs and startups due to the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Projects and activities that align with this focus area should generally aim to address these urgent capital needs.

What is the mission and focus of the program: research, social, economic or others?

Address the economic, health, and safety risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic through entrepreneurship and innovation.

How do you submit to this opportunity?

EDA strongly encourages applicants to consult with the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at [email protected] or (202) 482-8001 to discuss whether their project is in alignment with the requirements outlined in the NOFO. This consultation is limited to clarification of technical matters involving their proposed project, project alignment with EDA’s mission and Investment Priorities, and all other relevant and publicly available information relating to general technical matters.  Applications will only be accepted electronically through www.grants.gov (Grants.gov).

Who are the target applicants: cities, universities, companies, small business, nonprofits, or others?

  • District Organization of an EDA-designated Economic Development District.
  • Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes.
  • State, county, city, or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions.
  • Institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or
  • Public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State.

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