October 22, 2020

SBA Awards Up to $3 Million in Grants to Organizations Supporting Small Business Innovation and R&D Commercialization

Washington, Sept. 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The U.S. Small Business Administration granted 24 awards up to $125,000 each for specialized training, mentoring, and technical assistance for R&D-focused small businesses under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program administered by the SBA’s Office of Innovation and Technology. FAST seeks to improve outcomes in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs for underserved communities by increasing participation from women-owned, rural-based, and socially economically disadvantaged small businesses.  

“Our FAST partners address the unique needs of next-generation, high-tech small businesses. The program supports innovative entrepreneurs from underserved communities by helping them start and grow—a primary mission for SBA,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza.  “Programs like FAST are more critical than ever as the SBA is laser-focused on helping small businesses recover and once again propel the national economy forward. The SBIR and STTR funding can be the early seed capital to jumpstart companies today and make them successful in the future.  Some of our nation’s leading technology firms got their start with SBIR funding, and FAST is helping expand those opportunities to other entrepreneurs.”

The FAST Partnership Program provides one-year of funding to organizations that team up with others in their state to help build the innovation ecosystem that is key to helping grow the tech economy in that state. Current law only allows one proposal per state and territory. Candidates are endorsed by their state and territorial governors.  Proposals are evaluated by panels of reviewers from SBA and the SBIR participating agencies. Varying levels of matching funds are required, based on the number of SBIR Phase I awards in each state.

Recipients this year cover a wide geographic area and include state and local economic development entities, Small Business Technology Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, incubators, accelerators, colleges, and universities. All entities will provide support to small businesses developing high-risk technologies. 

The FAST grantees are as follows:

                                            Awardees – 20/21 Cohort

STATE ORGANIZATION
Arkansas University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Colorado The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
Connecticut Connecticut Innovations, Inc.
Delaware University of Delaware
Hawaii Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC)
Illinois Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Kansas Wichita State University
Maryland Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)
Minnesota Minnesota Technology Association
      Mississippi Innovate Mississippi
Montana Montana State University
Nebraska Nebraska Business Development Center, University of Nebraska at Omaha
New Hampshire University of New Hampshire
New Mexico Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University
North Carolina First Flight Venture Center, Inc.
Ohio Ohio Aerospace Institute
Oklahoma The University of Oklahoma Tom Love Innovation Hub
Oregon VertueLab
Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners Corporation
South Carolina University of South Carolina
Texas The University of Texas at San Antonio
Virginia Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)
West Virginia TechConnect West Virginia
Wyoming University of Wyoming Small Business Development Center

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About FAST

In FY 2020, $3 million was appropriated as grants for entities to carry out targeted activities from September 30, 2020, through September 29, 2021. Entities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa are eligible to receive funding to provide outreach, technical, and financial assistance in support of the SBIR/STTR programs. Additional information can be found at www.sbir.gov/about-fast. 

About SBIR/STTR 

SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund, which for FY 2020 will have more than $4 billion in early stage seed capital which will result in over 7,000 awards to small businesses. Eleven participating federal agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by the SBIR/STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S. Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at www.sbir.gov.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit https://www.sba.gov.

CONTACT: Tiffani Clements United States Small Business Administration 202-401-0035 Tiffani.Clements@sba.gov

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