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Rural communities have long been seen as the heart of our nation. But they are also face unique challenges like providing affordable healthcare and high-quality education, expanding access to broadband internet, maintaining and modernizing aging infrastructure, and revitalizing declining economies — all while preserving the character that makes rural communities special.

Through Collaborative Collision, Florida State University is building the interdisciplinary teams needed to solve complex challenges. We build connections around shared interests and complementary expertise, guide these connections into collaborations, and fund promising new ideas that accelerate discovery, innovation, and creativity. This semester we’re turning our attention to rural innovation and exploring challenges facing people and communities defined mainly by the fact that they’re not cities. In the US alone this accounts for over 60 million people, and the vast distances and low population density that are characteristic of rural areas mean that they face familiar challenges in unique ways.

Each of our teams has completed an intense, 10-week Incubator process to understand their Challenge, develop a Project, plan for Impact, and come together as a Team. At Collaborative Collision: Accelerator they'll share their proposed solution, and tell us how they plan to explore a complex solution to a complex challenge facing rural communities. Photos from Accelerator: Rural Innovation are now available!

Learn more about each of our finalists below!