CIVIC Stage 2 Awardees Announced

MetroLab Network
3 min readSep 21, 2023
Map of the CIVIC Stage 2 cohort. Those in orange are part of the Living in a Changing Climate track and those in blue are part of the Resource and Service Equity track. An interactive version of this map can be found at

MetroLab Network is pleased to share that the National Science Foundation (NSF) in partnership with the US Department of Energy (DOE), US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), has announced the stage 2 awardees for the Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC), a national research and action competition focused on rapidly transitioning emerging technologies and concepts into local community to address their long-standing challenges.

Now in its second iteration, CIVIC is a unique federal partnership that prioritizes community engagement, transdisciplinary research, and real-world pilots that center communities and their priorities to drive forward scientific innovation. Stage 2 teams competed for awards of up to $1 million over 12 months during the first stage of the grant, and will be using these funds to support ready-to-implement research-based pilot projects that have the potential for scalable, sustainable, and transferable impact on community-identified priorities. The Civic Innovation Challenge is federally funded through NSF, DOE, DHS, and USDA.

The Civic Innovation Challenge is comprised of two tracks, shaped by input from cities and communities from across the country:

Living in a Changing Climate: focusing on pre-disaster action around adaptation, resilience, and mitigation to equip communities for greater preparedness and resilience to natural disasters; and Resource and Service Equity: focusing on bridging the gap between essential resources and services and community needs.

The Civic Innovation Challenge is an opportunity to make civic research more actionable, as partnerships between the academic and local community are at the center of these projects. The focus areas of climate change and equitable distribution of resources are some of the most critical issues facing communities today. CIVIC brings an opportunity to fund new ideas to address these issues and bring to scale concepts developed at the local level. The awardees for stage two come from an array of planning focus backgrounds, and are geographically diverse, with 19 teams spanning 14 U.S. states, and Puerto Rico.

Activities supporting this stage are set to begin in late October, marked by an in-person Kick-off event held at NSF headquarters. Stage 2 kick-off activities are coordinated in collaboration withMetroLab Network. Through a cooperative agreement with NSF, MetroLab Network assists the CIVIC program by facilitating communities of practice among awardees to support teams in retaining the transferability and sustainability of their projects. MetroLab contributed to the design of the Civic Innovation Challenge, supported by a grant from NSF.

MetroLab Network has been involved with NSF’s CIVIC since its inception, contributing to the design of the Civic Innovation Challenge (award #1833054). MetroLab is honored to partner with NSF again for CIVIC’s second iteration (award #2223449) to continue supporting this work.

To learn more about the Civic Innovation Challenge, visit:

To see NSF’s announcement of this effort, please visit:



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