Economic Innovation Grants
The Economic Innovation Grants Program spurs business activity, job creation and public/private investment by supporting innovative economic development projects. Funds are provided by the North Carolina General Assembly and are available for local and regional projects in rural communities. Proposals are evaluated based on the innovative nature of the project and the project’s ability to generate measurable outcomes for business and job expansion.
The center is currently accepting grant applications for projects in four areas:
Advanced manufacturing in rural communities
Rural health care industry economic opportunities that support growth in higher skill, higher wage jobs and that have the potential to improve health outcomes in rural areas
Value-added processing for farmers, natural resource producers, and commercial fishing
Innovative community economic development strategies that capitalize on the unique assets of a community to create jobs, grow incomes and strengthen local economies.
Grants of up to $100,000 will be awarded in April 2013. Winning projects will have potential for economic impact within two years. The program requires a 10 percent match for the funding requested. Half of the match must be cash from non-federal and non-state sources.
Eligible applicants are units of local government, nonprofits and educational institutions located in one of North Carolina’s 85 rural counties. Also eligible are statewide and regional organizations and agencies applying on behalf of a project in a rural county.
The initial intent-to-apply deadline is Nov. 30.
Download the full program guidelines and intent to apply form.
Research & Demonstration Grants
The center’s research grants have provided funds to community, regional and state-level organizations to carry out promising research that addresses critical rural development issues. Results have included:
- Alternative crops and markets for small farmers
- Expansion of markets for the state’s crafts industry
- Establishment of technical, apprenticeship and entrepreneurial training programs in the schools
- Expansion of quality child care available to rural working families
- Introduction of alternative water and wastewater systems
- Expansion of regional solutions to rural solid waste problems
- Sound models for distance learning and other rural telecommunications uses
Research grants are currently made on an invitation basis.
Brett Altman, senior policy associate, Economic Innovations Program
N.C. Rural Economic Development Center
4021 Carya Drive
Raleigh, NC 27610