Funding Opportunity

Fiscal Year 2023 STEM Talent Challenge

Status: Closed
Application deadline

The U.S Economic Development Administration’s STEM Talent Challenge aims to build STEM talent training systems to strengthen regional innovation economies. The FY23 STEM Talent Challenge will award a total of $4.5 million in grants to organizations that are creating and implementing STEM talent development strategies that complement their region’s innovation economy.  

The competition will provide funding for programs that help build a robust STEM workforce in emerging and transformative sectors such as aerospace, aeronautics, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, and cybersecurity, among others. Projects should aim to identify opportunities in high-growth potential sectors, and to expand and empower the economic innovation workforce, including by: 

  • Engaging regional entrepreneurs, innovators, and the organizations that support them to assess and forecast current and future talent needs and to develop collaborative solutions with work-based programs; 

  • Building highly skilled talent and connecting workers to highly technical opportunities that foster professional development and provide continuing advanced skills training to develop the technical and scientific workforce that regional innovation initiatives need; 

  • Strengthening collaboration among entrepreneurs, industry leaders and employers, educational organizations, established corporations, economic and/or workforce development organizations, and the public sector to enable better access to skilled workers and to develop demand-driven workforce pipelines for the innovation economy; and 

  • Placing new employees into immediate job openings with regional employers in need of STEM talent. 

Competition applicants may request up to $500,000 for implementation of a 24-month workforce program that complements their region’s innovation economy. Competitive applications will demonstrate how the program will develop or expand regional STEM workforce capacity to support entrepreneurial ventures, industries of the future, and other innovation-driven businesses. 


Grant link: