RISE launches $1.5 Million 2021 Coastal Community Resilience Challenge


Entrepreneurs will receive funding and support for innovative solutions that build resilience to flooding and sea-level rise.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – On Friday RISE announced the launch of the 2021 Coastal Community Resilience Challenge.

The Challenge will award a total of $1.5 million to small businesses with innovative flood-resilience solutions.

RISE is a non-profit organization that accelerates innovation and business growth around solutions to coastal resilience challenges in Hampton Roads.

Businesses can apply for up to $350,000 to advance and pilot cutting-edge products and services in the areas of Flood Management & Infrastructure, Data Analytics, Protection of Buildings, and Re-establishing Critical Utilities.

In addition to the funding, RISE says winning teams will get access to resources from the RISE Resilience Innovation Hub & Testbed including a business accelerator, co-working office, and testing space, real-world pilot sites, and introductions to regional municipalities and other stakeholders, among other benefits.

RISE said in a press release they will work with winning teams to pilot their approaches in a “living laboratory” environment across the Hampton Roads, with the goal of building economically viable businesses and solutions that are scalable to other communities.

“Our past Challenges were so well received, and the responses so inspiring, we saw the need to repeat the process, and to focus the Challenge on more specific problems,” said RISE’s Executive Director, Paul Robinson, Ph.D.

“We’re building a resilience hub of innovators in Hampton Roads and look forward to adding more companies. We are establishing Hampton Roads as ground zero for resilience entrepreneurship,” said Robinson.

New to this year’s Challenge, RISE is encouraging new applicants to partner with 15 current finalists and winners of its three previous Challenges.

The new Challenge also incorporates pain points identified by coastal community stakeholders including Virginia municipalities.

The application deadline is March 15, 2021. For additional information on the 2021 Challenge, visit www.riseresilience.org.

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