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Our Focus

The DRIVE program focuses on building the capacity of communities across the region to access and utilize external grant funding to drive community-centered growth. Through an intensive year long program, the DRIVE team works closely with cohort communities to assess needs and assets, hone grant writing skills, identify diverse funding sources, and develop sustainable infrastructure to support ongoing grant pursuit. 

The overarching objectives of DRIVE are threefold:  

  1. Equip community leaders with the knowledge, skills, tools, and connections to successfully obtain grant funding that aligns with local priorities. The program includes hands-on grant writing workshops, peer-based ideation sessions, and ongoing mentoring to develop grantsmanship capabilities within communities. 

  2. Uncover and pursue grant opportunities through federal, state, nonprofit, and private sources that can catalyze sustainable, equitable growth tailored to community needs and vision. DRIVE leverages the expertise of the University of Memphis to help position communities for grant success. 

  3. Build lasting collaborative relationships and networks throughout the region to drive large-scale revitalization. DRIVE aims to unite the region through cooperation, resource sharing, and a commitment to elevating communities and residents. 


Our Mission 

The mission of DRIVE is to create sustainable and equitable community wealth in historically underserved communities. We accomplish this by building capacity, facilitating regional collaboration, and conducting applied research to develop locally-driven solutions.


Our Vision 

DRIVE envisions a future where the region thrives as communities harness innovation, technology, and sustainability to catalyze equitable growth across the region. 


Program Features

  • Two-day Grantsmanship Workshop 

  • Embedded Community Studies 

  • Economic and Demographic Analysis 

  • Ideation Sessions 

    • Rural and Strategic Planning  

    • Proposal and project identification 

    • Meet a Reviewer 

    • Alternative Funding Strategies 

    • Impact Investment 

  • Grant Review Services 

  • Assessment and Impact Evaluation 

  • Grant Management Services 

Powered by INTEGRIT-E

DRIVE was formed and is driven by the INTEFRIT-E project at the University of Memphis. The vision of INTEGRIT-E is to help solve the innovation equity challenge in the U.S. by leveraging established data-driven discovery research expertise and industry partnership to create an innovation-based business with livable wages, jobs, and pathways to community wealth. The University of Memphis' research strengths in areas like educational technologies, artificial intelligence, sensing technologies, signal processing, and data science helped to crystalize the industry intersections of this important topic. 

The INTERGRIT-E goals include leveraging capacity for transformational change by building research and industry collaborations, forming communities and teams for future grant applications, and strengthening connections between regional institutions.



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