After six years with 14 continuing resolutions, Congress passed legislation on December 15, 2011, assuring reauthorization for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant program for six years.
“We are thrilled,” said Mary Cardon, manager of USTAR’s SBIR-STTR Assistance Center (SSAC). “Not only is funding locked in for an extended and predictable timeframe, but the program is greatly enhanced.”
The SBIR and STTR federal grants are non-equity position, competitive grants dedicated to advance research and development of cutting edge technology. Offered in two phases, the grants give $150,000 to $1,000,000 to small businesses to help bring new technology to reality or the next generation.
With more than $2.8 billion currently available through 11 agencies, the new legislation will increase the SBIR and STTR allocation significantly over the next several years. Other highlights include shortening the time for final decisions to 90 days and expediting the time between decision and release of funds, with flexibility for the National Institute of Health.
Another major change in the program is the increase in allowed venture capital participation to 25 percent for National Institute of Health, Department of Energy, and National Science Foundation, and 15 percent for the other eight agencies.
The Utah Science Technology, and Research initiative (USTAR) supports the SBIR-STTR Assistance Center together with Salt Lake Community College - Miller Campus, in Sandy, Utah. Through the SSAC, qualified businesses can gain assistance with all elements of the SBIR-STTR process, from finding a topic to submitting a proposal, have access to training opportunities as well as nuances to winning SBIR-STTR proposals.
Since opening in June of 2008, SSAC has successfully assisted Utah’s small technology companies navigate the process and win more than $3.8 million in federal non-equity position grants. During that time, the grant funding has been running on continuing resolution, creating a tenuous foundation for the SSAC and its clients, something Cardon is pleased to put behind them.
“We have more than 100 clients across the state breathing a huge sigh of relief,” Cardon remarked. “Everyone has been working under a cloud, wondering if the monies would be in place when needed. We have put a great deal of energy into the reauthorization effort for the past three and a half years, and we look forward to concentrating solely on helping Utah’s companies participate in this remarkable program.”
Ted McAleer, Executive Director of USTAR is also pleased to have the legislation finalized. “USTAR is proud to be a small part of this nationwide effort, and we thank our partners as well as Utah’s SBIR-STTR community for working so hard for this important cause.”
To learn more about the SBIR and STTR program and if your company qualifies for these non-equity position federal dollars, please visit http://www.innovationutah.com/sbir.html . The SBIR-STTR Assistance Center also offers a monthly seminar, SBIR-STTR 101 Lunch and Learn, the second Wednesday of each month at noon. Free of charge, the seminar is held at Salt Lake Community College - Miller Campus, 9750 South 300 West. To sign up for this seminar, either Jan 11 or Feb 8, or for any questions, please email your interest to UtahSBIR-STTRCenter@utah.gov .