University Economic Development Association


Rural Reimagined Grand Challenge

Award Category: Talent + Place
Submitted By: Tennessee Tech University, Office of Research and Economic Development
Program Info: Learn More


The Rural Reimagined Grand Challenge is TN Tech’s Grand Challenge initiative to transform rural living through science, technology, innovation, and economic development. TN Tech’s service area includes numerous distressed and at-risk rural counties in the Upper Cumberland region of Middle Tennessee that face problems such as workforce instability, population loss, food insecurity, accessible medical and mental health care, drug addiction, poor infrastructure, access to STEM education, lack of diversity, and broadband access, to name just a few. Accordingly, the vision of Rural Reimagined is to examine these issues and collaboratively develop and support the success of rural areas in a way that can be replicated throughout the state, country, and the world.

Through this initiative, TN Tech faculty, students, staff, and the community are working together to leverage the university’s and community’s unique assets to achieve the vision of the grand challenge. Since March 2019, Rural Reimagined has impacted 44 Tennessee counties, interacted with over 3,000 community members, faculty, staff, and students, has created over 100 community partnerships, has accumulated 50,000 student service- learning/volunteer hours, and has activated over $4.2 million in rural-related grant funds – all with $0 formal institutional budget.

University Economic Development Association

PO Box 97930
Pittsburgh, PA 15227
216.200.UEDA (8332)