USDA Logo Rural Development Logo USDA Rural DevelopmentMainMasthead
SpacerHomeDividerAbout RDDividerNewsroomDividerAgencies & OfficesDividerPrograms & OpportunitiesDividerHelpDividerContact UsDividerEn Español
Search RD
Browse by Audience
Browse by Subject
Community Development
Technical Assistance
Forms and Publications
Regulations and Guidance
Online Services
Left Navigation Menu Bottom
Under Construction
Logo EDA Jobs Accelerator Innovation

Contact Us:


What is the Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge?

The Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge leverages existing financial and technical assistance resources from 13 federal agencies and bureaus to spur economic growth in rural areas in approximately 20 regions to be selected through a competitive inter-agency grant process. The Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) announcement will open from March 8, 2012 to May 9, 2012.

The Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge offers a combination of $15 million in funding from four agencies and technical assistance resources from nine additional agencies and bureaus. This opportunity will support customized solutions targeted to address the gaps and opportunities specific for individual regions by strengthening linkages to self-identified, high-potential industry clusters in competitively selected rural regions across the nation and across all sectors.

Funds awarded to the winning applicants can be used to support and accelerate a range of projects including improving rural communities’ capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or economic and community development along with creation of regional linkages that connect communities with innovation clusters and regional opportunities leading to job creation, expanded markets, and economic growth.

Why this approach?

This initiative represents the implementation of a number of Obama Administration policy priorities including the acceleration of bottom-up innovation strategies encompassing urban, rural and multijurisdictional geographies, as opposed to imposing 'one size fits all' solutions. Also, it helps reduce federal silos and promote more coordinated federal funding opportunities that offer a more efficient system for customers to access federal resources. Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs) provide a globally proven approach for developing regional economic prosperity. The Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge is designed to accelerate the benefits of RIC-based economic development, including business formation and expansion, job creation, and enhanced competitiveness in America’s regions by coordinating federal resources to support the development of self-identified, high-growth clusters. The Rural Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge is a project of the Taskforce for the Advancement of Regional Innovation Clusters (TARIC) and the White House Rural Council, in partnership with many other federal partners.

Content Divider

Questions & Responses

Image of Calendar

The Rural Jobs Accelerator Questions and Responses document is available for your review. If you have additional questions or comments please email us at

Recorded Webinar

Image of Calendar

Federal Funding Opportunity Prospective Applicants
Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Recorded Webinar

Important Documents

Other Resources

Content Divider

Regional Funding Partners

Delta Regional Authority (DRA) and Appalachian Regional Authority (ARC) are providing additional funding for projects located within their service region.

Delta Regional Authority

DRA grant funds may be used to assist in the economic development of rural areas by providing technical assistance for business development and economic development planning. Link to DRA’s website:

If you have questions specific to DRA’s requirements, please use the following email address to send in your question:

Appalachian Regional Commission

ARC funds may be used for projects that address gaps in a community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and promote the growth and competitiveness of an identified industry cluster. Guidance on developing an application for supplemental funding from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) can be found on ARC’s website:

If you have questions specific to ARC’s requirements, please use the following email address to send in your question



<< Rural Jobs Accelerator

Last Modified:05/02/2013 
Footer Corner
RD Home | | Site Map | Policies and Links
FOIA | Accessibility Statement | Privacy Policy | Non-Discrimination Statement | Information Quality | FirstGov | White House