$25 million competition to tackle COVID-19 challenges launches in St. Petersburg

The U.S. Commerce Secretary says there’s no better place to launch the SPRINT Challenge than St. Petersburg.

“A flourishing, high-tech hub with your 31,000 advance manufacturing workers, and 22,000 technology workers,” Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

“SPRINT” stands for “Scaling Pandemic Resilience through Innovation and Technology.”

It is a $25 million national competition which will be funded by the CARES Act.

The idea is to tap into American creativity and innovation to find unique solutions to help tackle challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Wilbur Ross

“Throughout our history, intrepid American innovators have solved problems and ensured our economic competitiveness, the Trump Administration is counting on them to help the country through this and future pandemics,” Ross said.

The secretary wants American organizations to pitch the next several great ideas. Secretary Ross says he hopes several independent organizations will benefit from this grant, but FOX 13 asked him who exactly he thought would benefit the most.

“Women are underrepresented in inventing things in this country,” he said. “Only 12 percent of all inventions are made by women. Minority groups tend to be underrepresented in the innovation process. So one of our hopes is that this will stimulate a groundswell for the female segment of the population and the minority segment.”

The competition is open to all public or private non-profit organizations, states, counties, cities and Indian tribes, and universities and colleges. The deadline is December 3, 2020.

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