Enhancing Resilience to Natural Disasters:
DHS Co-Sponsoring the Civic Innovation Challenge
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is partnering with the National Science Foundation and U.S. Department of Energy to co-sponsor the Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC), a nation-wide research and action competition that aims to fund ready-to-implement, research-based pilot projects that have the potential for scalable, sustainable, and transferable impact on community-identified priorities. Teams across government, academia, industry, and more are encouraged to consider how the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other experiences in their communities, uncover new challenges, motivate new questions, and highlight the need for new perspectives.
CIVIC is organized as a two-stage competition with two tracks centered around the two topic areas:
Communities and Mobility:
Offering Better Mobility Options to Solve the Spatial Mismatch Between Housing Affordability and Jobs
Resilience to Natural Disasters:
Equipping Communities for Greater Preparedness and Resilience to Natural Disasters
Stage 1 of the Civic Innovation Challenge awarded planning grants to 52 teams across 30 states as well as tribal regions, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C. to refine concepts for projects designed to address use-inspired issues in their communities.
In Stage 2, 17 of those teams have been selected for awards of up to $1 million to conduct and evaluate ready-to-implement pilot projects in a 12-month timeframe. Teams will also collaborate across the entire program, sharing approaches and positioning projects to have wider impact.
- Track A, funded by NSF and DOE, focuses on communities and mobility, offering better mobility options to solve the mismatch between affordable housing and jobs, as well as access to services like food and childcare. Six selected projects will seek to develop community hubs for smart mobility, pilot on-demand
- Track B, funded by NSF and DHS, focuses on resilience to natural disasters in the context of equipping communities for greater preparedness to and response after disasters such as floods, hurricanes and wildfires. Eleven selected projects will develop artificial intelligence-based decision support tools for food distribution during disasters, improve the post-flood financial resiliency of low-income households, address the resilience divide in rural communities through rural resilience hubs.