MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A coalition of businesses and government led by the University of Memphis has been selected as a finalist in the Build Back Better Regional Challenge.

As a finalist, the group will move on to compete with 60 other communities for a $100 million grant.

As a result of making it to the finals, the coalition was given a $500,000 planning grant.

This coalition, led by the U of M, includes the Greater Memphis Chamber, Epicenter, Start Co., and the Memphis Area Association of Governments. They plan on developing a new urban-rural innovation district called the Digital Delta

According to the project proposal, the Digital Delta is designed, “to position the Memphis Region as an Applied Technology Cluster to create an economy of innovation driven by applied technologies that will accelerate the growth and development of targeted industry clusters of agribusiness and food, medical device and healthcare technology, supply chain and logistics, and electric vehicles (EV) and sustainable mobility.”

For more information, see the full proposal below.

In a press release, the Greater Memphis Chamber said, “The U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Build Back Better Regional Challenge was designed to accelerate the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and make communities across the nation more resilient to future economic shocks.”

In the coming weeks, their proposals will compete with 60 other regional projects designed to accelerate growth, create more STEM jobs and put many Americans back to work, in better paying jobs.