U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Autonomous Technology Innovation in Grand Forks, North Dakota
Award is Part of the Department of Commerce’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1 million grant to the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, to conduct an economic impact study and commercialization strategy for the state’s Unmanned Aerial Systems network. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan and EDA’s $300 million Coal Communities Commitment.
This grant will support innovations in the fast-growing autonomous technology corridor to help diversify the economy of a state impacted by the declining use of coal. The EDA investment will be matched with $250,000 in local funds.
“The Biden Administration is committed to providing communities with the resources they need to diversify and grow their economies,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This investment supports technology innovation that will ensure U.S. competitiveness on the global stage.”
“The Economic Development Administration is dedicated to working with communities to support their locally driven strategies to recover and rebuild from the pandemic,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This project will ignite new economic opportunities to spur private investment and jobs in North Dakota for decades to come.”
This project was made possible by regional planning efforts led by the seven Economic Development Districts (EDDs) in the state of North Dakota. EDA funds these EDDs to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.
This project is funded under EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program, which makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.
EDA’s Coal Communities Commitment allocates $300 million of EDA’s $3 billion American Rescue Plan appropriation to support coal communities as they recover from the pandemic and to help them create new jobs and opportunities, including through the creation or expansion of a new industry sector. Specifically, EDA has dedicated $100 million of its Build Back Better Regional Challenge funds and $200 million of its Economic Adjustment Assistance funds to directly support coal communities.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.