$1.5M Coastal Community Resilience Challenge Winners

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the inaugural $1.5M RISE Coastal Community Resilience Challenge. We have selected six entrepreneurs with promising resilience-building solutions who will each receive between $160,000 and $310,000 to develop, test and demonstrate innovative products, services and workforce development programs to help coastal communities adapt to climate change. These approaches will be demonstrated in the Hampton Roads region of Southeastern Virginia with the goal of building viable businesses and solutions scalable to other communities. RISE partnered with MIT Solve to attract submissions from around the world.

RISE will work alongside the six winners, selected from a pool of 51 applicants, to facilitate access to real-world infrastructure, data, experts and mentors they will need to build their solutions into successful businesses. Check out our video to learn more about RISE and the Hampton Roads living laboratory for resilience innovation!

The 2019 Challenge launches in the summer. Sign up at the bottom of the page for updates, including information about how you can apply.


Meet the Winners

Team: Building Resilient Solutions, LLC
Solution: Building Retrofit Techniques for Flood Resilience in Hampton Roads

Building Resilient Solutions will enhance viability of established neighborhoods in flood-prone areas by piloting alternative flood resilience retrofit methods for older and historic structures under various flooding conditions. The team will test these methods at several volunteer demonstration sites in Hampton Roads, with emphases on the use of traditional building materials, the latest dry flood proofing and barrier systems.

Team: Constructis Energy
Solution: Roadway Energy X-platform

Generating electricity requires expensive infrastructure, takes up limited land resources, requires vulnerable grid arteries, and incurs constant operations and maintenance costs. Solar and wind solutions can be difficult in the urban environment. Constructis will pilot patent-pending technology that harnesses kinetic energy from traffic to provide power to emergency services, traffic signals and pumps that clear flooded roadways.

Team: GROW Oyster Reefs, LLC
Solution: GROW Oyster Reefs!

GROW Oyster Reefs will demonstrate a novel concept of oyster reef restoration. Existing commercial solutions are made with recycled materials which are costly to maintain and not always conducive to oysters or the ecosystem health.  These reefs will improve the overall water quality in the Chesapeake Bay and reduce effects of flooding by creating an organic seawall. GROW’s solution is also one of the winners of  the 2018 MIT Solve Coastal Communities Challenge.

Team: Landscape Resilience Partnership
Solution: Resilience from the Ground UP

The Landscape Resilience Partnership (LRP) will accelerate the adoption of green infrastructure by establishing a workforce training program. This effort will meet the region’s growing demand for nature-based approaches and help develop ways of retrofitting water management and resilience solutions into built-out neighborhoods dominated by private ownership of small parcels. LRP will develop a cadre of trained landscape professionals who can design, install, and maintain resilience practices to meet the region’s needs.

Team: Resilient Enterprise Solution (RES)
Solution: Resilient Enterprise Solution

RES will mitigate flood risks, reduce insurance premiums, and grow jobs by converting coastal home-raising from a cottage industry to a franchise network. RES will offer financing, insurance, and actual home-raising as a single source offering while also establishing a Home Raising Training Academy in Hampton Roads to recruit, train, employ Lift Managers and Lift Technicians.

Team: InfraSGA 
Solution: Urban Retrofit Bio-Retention Systems

Over the last decade there has been a significant increase in the implementation of urban retrofit bio-retention projects in response to regulatory and other requirements. The lack of resources required to sustain many of the projects have caused them to fail, be neglected, or removed. InfraSGA will pilot innovative urban retrofit bio-retention systems that will reduce stormwater flooding while decreasing the design, construction, and operation and maintenance costs.