Commerce Awards $29M in Coronavirus-Related Innovation Grants


The projects address economic, health and safety risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Commerce Department this week announced 44 organizations received grants totaling $29 million to fund an assortment of innovative and entrepreneurial projects responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grants, delivered through the Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration, will support projects across 25 states and Puerto Rico. Projects vary widely in scope, ranging from upscaling biotechnology and health security efforts, safely reopening businesses, workforce upskilling and health security efforts. In total, 238 applicants applied for the grant, and the 44 awardees ultimately included higher education institutions, nonprofits and entrepreneurship-focused organizations.

“The Biden Administration applauds the SPRINT Challenge awardees’ efforts to pivot to help their communities through difficult times quickly,” Secretary of Commerce Gina 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.”

Projects receiving funding include the University of California, Los Angeles’ LA-R2C Accelerator, which seeks to scale bioscience tech related to COVID-19 prevention, diagnosis, treatment and health equity.

The SPRINT Challenge grant recipients include:

  • 401 Tech Bridge, Kingston, Rhode Island
  • AgLaunch Initiative, Shelby, Tennessee
  • Champion Impact Capital, Irving, Texas
  • Chicostart, Chico, California
  • City University of New York, New York, New York
  • Greater New Orleans Development Foundation, New Orleans, Lousiana
  • Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Portland, Maine
  • Health Tech Alley, Columbia, Maryland
  • Houston Community College, Houston, Texas
  • Launch NY, Buffalo, New York
  • Lean Rocket Lab, Jackson, Michigan
  • Magnet: The Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives, Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation, Westborough, Massachusetts
  • Medical Center of the Americas Foundation, El Paso, Texas
  • Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee
  • New Mexico Community Capital, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • New Mexico Trade Alliance, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • NextCorps, Rochester, New York
  • NOLA Business Alliance, New Orleans, Lousiana
  • North Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Wausau, Wisconsin
  • Northern Arizona Technology & Business Incubator, Flagstaff, Arizona
  • Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, Kentucky
  • Oregon Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network, Eugene, Oregon
  • Pacific NorthWest Economic Region Foundation, Seattle, Washington
  • Parallax Advanced Research Corporation, Beavercreek, Ohio
  • Port of Ridgefield, Clark, Washington
  • Purdue University Northwest, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Secondmuse Foundation, Lake Oswego, Oregon
  • Startup Tucson, Tucson, Arizona
  • St. Louis Development Corporation, St. Louis, Missouri
  • The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas
  • University City Science Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
  • University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
  • University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
  • University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
  • University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Massachusetts
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Missouri
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Washington State University, Spokane, Washington
  • Wayne State University Research and Technology Park, Detroit, Michigan
  • XLR8X, Honolulu, Hawaii