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Posted on: November 25, 2019

RISE Announces the Launch of its $2 Million Coastal Community Resilience Challenges

Entrepreneurs will receive funding for innovative resilience-building solutions to six major Resilience Challenges

RISE Announces the Launch of its $2 Million Coastal Community Resilience Challenges
 Entrepreneurs will receive funding for innovative resilience-building solutions to six major Resilience Challenges

Norfolk, November 25, 2019 – RISE today announced the launch of six RISE Coastal Community Resilience Challenges. These Challenges will award a total of $2 million to small businesses with innovative resilience solutions that create substantial new value, can be demonstrated in the Hampton Roads region of Southeastern Virginia, and can be built into sustainable businesses.

The Resilience Challenges in need of innovation include Flood Management, Data Analytics, Protection of Buildings, Re-establishing Critical Utilities, Reconnecting Neighborhoods, and Urban Mobility. RISE sources Challenges from diverse entities operating in coastal environments and each Challenge has an actual occurrence in Hampton Roads.

Selected 2019 Challenges will benefit from partnerships with the Cities of Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Houston, and Miami, as well as with Sentara Healthcare, The Port of Virginia, Old Dominion University, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Esri, and Waze. “These partnerships are essential in providing guidance to the teams to help refine their solutions and make them applicable to other coastal communities,” said Dr. Katerina Oskarsson, RISE’s Chief Strategy Officer.

“Sentara Norfolk General Hospital is proud to participate in the RISE Urban Mobility Resilience Challenge to help find creative solutions to the impacts of sea level rise in our coastal community,” said Carolyn Carpenter, Sentara Norfolk General Hospital President. “We are eager to support innovative transportation improvements that fulfill our mission to Improve Health Every Day.”

In addition to funding from the Resilience Innovation Fund, RISE provides finalists with resources from the Resilience Innovation Accelerator and Resilience Innovation Hub & Testbed. RISE works alongside the teams to facilitate access to real-world infrastructure, data, experts and mentors - with the aim of scaling proven solutions nationally and internationally.

The inaugural RISE Coastal Community Resilience Challenges in 2018 awarded $1.5 million to six winners, selected from a pool of 51 applicants, who are now piloting their solutions and growing their businesses in several Hampton Roads cities.

“Big infrastructure projects take years and billions of dollars to implement,” said Kyle Spencer, City of Norfolk’s Deputy Resilience Officer. “The RISE Challenges give us access to creative, smaller scale, affordable solutions that the City and residents can use now to adapt to rising seas. RISE puts this region on the map as the place to be for resilience entrepreneurs.”

“Our 2018 Challenges were so well received, and the responses so inspiring that we saw the need to repeat the process, and to focus the Challenges on more specific problems. We have already established a resilience hub of innovators in Hampton Roads and we look forward to adding more companies. We are establishing Hampton Roads as ground zero for resilience entrepreneurship.” said Dr. Paul Robinson, RISE’s Executive Director.

For more information on the new Challenges and 2018 winners visit www.riseresilience.org.

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