The Fund for Our Economic Future, in conjunction with the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, the Greater Cleveland Partnership, the Lozick Family Foundation, and DriveOhio, has announced the launch of the Paradox Prize.
With the aim of investing in ideas that can help residents of Northeast Ohio who are stranded economically by geography, the funders will provide up to $1 million over three years in support of fifteen pilot projects that test practical solutions to eliminating what they call the "transportation paradox" — the choice many residents of the region have to make between a commute by public transit that can be as long as three hours a day, an expensive commute by car that can consume an hour's worth of wages, or much diminished employment options.
To incentivize and inspire breakthroughs that transform lives and the regional economy, grants ranging from $20,000 to $100,000 will be awarded, based on the needs and potential of each project. The first deadline to apply is July 15, with two additional funding rounds planned for later in the year.
"The transportation paradox can be solved if Northeast Ohio embraces seamless mobility solutions," said Fund for Our Economic Future vice president Bethia Burke. "We are no longer living in a world where transportation options need to be limited by the choice between individual car ownership or a traditional bus."