EDA’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Talent Challenge program is a $2 million competition that aims to increase STEM talent and workforce readiness to strengthen regional innovation economies. Continuing on the momentum from EDA’s Build to Scale (B2S) Program, which builds regional economies through scalable startups, the STEM Talent Challenge will foster the future of work by providing funding to develop, implement, and expand new work-and-learn models, increasing the STEM-capable workforce.

Competitive applications will clearly communicate how they will develop or expand regional STEM workforce capacity to support high-growth, high-wage entrepreneurial ventures, industries of the future, and other innovation-driven businesses.

Who should apply?

Cities, States, or Indian Tribes
Non-profit organizations
Public-private partnerships
Federal laboratories or science and research parks
Economic development organizations
Institutes of higher education
It does not directly fund individuals or startups. For a full list of eligible entities, please read the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

Competition Highlights

The STEM Talent Challenge is designed to assist communities with two activities – planning and development, and program implementation. Program Implementation is a required activity - meaning applicants may not request funds solely for planning and development activities.

Under the STEM Talent Challenge, applicants may request:


Aug 27, 2020 – Notice of Funding Opportunity Published
Sep 09, 2020 – STEM Talent Challenge Informational Webinar
Oct 14, 2020 – Applications Due
Nov 28 - Dec 15 – Awards Announced (estimated)