Grant will bolster outdoor recreation innovation efforts in the U.P.

What's happening: The Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Regional Commission (CUPPAD) and Innovate Marquette received a $320,000 grant to further outdoor recreation innovation efforts in the Central Upper Peninsula. The funds will go towards establishing a public-private collaborative group called the Outdoor Recreation Innovation Action Network (ORIAN), a regionally-wide outdoor recreation industry master plan and fund a study to determine how the region can facilitate future demand for electrical power sports vehicles. 

How is it funded: The money comes from an Economic Adjustment Assistance program grant through the U.S. Economic Development Administration. That grant is awarded to communities that deal with major and often detrimental economic changes. The job loss from the closure of the 2019 Presque Isle power plant and the positive potential of the U.P.’s outdoor recreation industry was cited in the grant application. 

What they're saying: “The potential surrounding outdoor recreation in the Upper Peninsula is limitless, and we are grateful to the Economic Development Administration for recognizing the impact this grant will make as we continue our relentless pursuit of innovation and development in this industry,” said Joe Thiel, CEO of Innovate Marquette SmartZone. “I look forward to collaborating with our partners at CUPPAD and helping lay the groundwork for a more diverse and sustainable economy for our current and future residents.”

What's next: Further announcements, including requests for proposals, will be announced in the coming months. Projects specifically will focus on the creation of ORIAN and finding contributors for the master plan.
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