Supporting programs for innovative, technology-driven small businesses under SBA's Federal and State Technology (FAST) partnership program, the U.S. Small Business Administration has granted 20 awards, of $95,000 per award, for FY 2013 to 20 state and local economic development agencies, business development centers, and colleges and universities. Candidates were submitted by the governors of all 50 U.S. states and territories.
The FAST Program is designed to stimulate economic development among small, high technology businesses through federally-funded innovation and research and development programs like the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). The project and budget periods are for 12 months, starting October 1, 2013.
"The FAST program is an important catalyst for helping America's cutting-edge entrepreneurs continue to drive innovation and create good jobs," said Karen G. Mills, SBA Administrator. "The partnerships developed through these programs will play a critical role in helping high-growth potential small firms take those next steps to help drive our local economies."
The recipients include:
- Arizona Arizona Commerce Authority
- Arkansas Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas
- Connecticut Connecticut Innovations, Inc.
- Delaware University of Delaware
- Louisiana Louisiana State University and A&M College
- Michigan BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting LLC
- Mississippi Innovate Mississippi
- Missouri The Curators of the University of Missouri
- Montana Montana Department of Commerce
- New Mexico Technology Ventures Corporation
- New York The Research Foundation for the State University of New York
- North Dakota University of North Dakota
- Ohio Ohio Aerospace Institute
- Oregon Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center
- Pennsylvania Ben Franklin Technology Partners Corporation
- Puerto Rico Inter American University of Puerto Rico SBTDC
- South Dakota Governor's Office of Economic Development
- Tennessee Tennessee Technology Development Corp. dba Launch Tennessee
- Vermont Vermont State Colleges
- Wisconsin Board of Regents of University of Wisconsin System
FAST provides up to $95,000 per award to pay for outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses. The program places particular emphasis on helping socially and economically disadvantaged firms compete in the SBA's SBIR and STTR programs.
FAST funding awardees demonstrated how they will help support areas such as:
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; and, commercializing technology developed through SBIR grants.
Proposals were evaluated by a panel of SBIR program managers. The SBA, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation jointly reviewed the panel's recommendations and made awards based on proposal merit. The grant requires varying levels of matching funds from each participating state and territory.
Companies supported by the SBIR and STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S. For example, about 25 percent of R&D Magazine's Top 100 Innovations come from SBIR-funded small businesses.