Build Back Better: University of Chicago and mHub Seek Project Proposals, Partnerships to Accelerate Illinois Clean Energy Economy

clean energy

The Illinois Clean Tech Coalition will establish a clean tech cluster in the Midwest region through focused investment in innovation around clean energy. (Image credit: iStock/ipopba)

The University of Chicago and mHUB have put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for projects and programs to participate in a $100 million regional proposal for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration, Build Back Better Regional Challenge.

The aim of this RFP is to identify 3 to 8 proposals to invest up to $100 million in a comprehensive coordinated effort to grow the Clean Tech Economy. Proposals should range between $750,000 and $25 million with full deployment of funding between 24 and 48 months.

Proposals are due at 12:00 p.m. (CST) on Sunday, September 26, 2021.

>> View the full RFP, here.

An informational webinar will be held on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (CST). Register for the webinar, here.

Proposals should focus on creating new capacity or scaling an existing program or entity. It also should emphasize workforce development and must align with regional assets and economic development strategic plans and investments. Proposals also should feature clear industry engagement and commitments, an equitable distribution of impact, and a post-award sustainability plan. Additionally, each proposal must demonstrate a minimum 20% cost match.

Project proposals should address the following industry verticals:

// Industry Vertical #1: Clean Energy

  • Hydrogen & Fuel Cell
  • Grid Modernization
  • Carbon Capture

// Industry Vertical #2: Transportation

  • Batteries & Energy Storage
  • Charging Infrastructure
  • Climate Prediction

// Horizontal Capabilities

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybersecurity
  • 5G & Broadband & Connectivity
  • Robotics
  • Quantum Computing
  • Manufacturing Supply Chain
  • Advanced Materials

Connect and Learn More

UChicago and mHUB also are holding open office hours to discuss potential project ideas alignment, scale, and scope, and opportunities for inter-project collaboration.

Through the program, the U.S. Economic Development Administration will help fund a range of non-construction and construction activities. This includes the building of eligible entities such as water and sewer system improvements, industrial parks, shipping and logistics facilities, business incubators and accelerators, brownfield redevelopment, technology-based facilities, food aggregation, processing and distribution centers, wet labs, multi-tenant manufacturing facilities, science and research parks, transportation enhancements, and telecommunications infrastructure, and development facilities.

Non-construction activities include design and engineering, technical assistance, economic recovery strategy development, entrepreneurial support, demand-driven workforce training, new academic curricula, market feasibility studies, and the capitalization of revolving loan funds.

Please send one electronic copy of your Proposal to no later than 12:00 p.m. (CST) on Sunday, September 26, 2021.

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