Through the federal government’s FAST (Federal and State Technology) program, the Small Business Administration announced that it will be awarding grants to eligible state, local, and business economic development agencies and centers, as well as colleges and universities, in an effort to provide support for small businesses focused on technological development and innovation.
Applications for these federally funded grants are being accepted until April 11 and will provide funding up to $100,000 for outreach and technical assistance per award for one year.
Proposals will be accepted from all fifty states as well as the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories. Only one proposal submission is permitted per state and territory, and must be submitted to the http://www.grants.gov website by 11:59 p.m. (EDT) on April 11.
Designed to stimulate the growth of science and technology-driven small businesses that face social and economic disadvantages, the FAST grants are intended to help them compete in programs such as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). In the past, close to a quarter of R&D Magazine’s Top 100 Innovations are small businesses that receive SBIR funding.
Program managers for the SBIR will evaluate the proposals, and their recommendations will then be reviewed by the SBA, the National Science Foundation, and the DoD. Awards will be based on merit, and matching funds from each state or territory are required. Merit is determined by how well the proposals support:
- small business research and development assistance
- technology transfer from universities to small businesses
- technological diffusion of innovation benefiting small businesses
- proposal development and mentoring for small businesses applying for SBIR grants
- commercializing technology developed through SBIR grants
Complete information about the SBIR and STTR programs, as well as the FAST grants, can be found by visiting the SBA’s website.
Small Business Administration. http://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba_newsroom, March 13, 2014.