The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will launch an 18 state road tour, joined by 11 fellow federal agencies in the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
The SBIR Road Tour “Seeding America’s Future Innovations,” is a nationally focused outreach initiative targeting advanced technology communities, including women-owned and minority-owned small businesses in states that have underutilized funding opportunities through these programs. Today, the agency is launching information on the tour through www.sbir.gov and will also launch a blog that will be active up through the end of the tour in late August.
“The SBA oversees America’s largest seed fund for small businesses in the STEM fields. The SBIR and the STTR programs—allocates $2.5 billion a year to small innovators. By reserving a specific percentage of federal R&D funds for smaller firms, Uncle Sam encourages domestic small businesses to engage in high-growth priorities and build a strong national economy. SBIR recipients have created breakthroughs in nanotechnology, robotics, mobile communications, genetic therapies, clean energy and space,” said Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.
“The President’s 2015 budget embodies the Administration’s ongoing commitment to investments in job creation and economic growth, specifically through targeted investments in science, technology and innovation. Through this tour, we will educate more small business innovators on how to take advantage of these programs, so that their entrepreneurial spirit and our investment drives the next new big technological breakthrough,” said Contreras-Sweet.
SBIR and STTR programs bring together several federal agencies to promote innovation and research around many different areas of priority. For example, current awards support the Administration’s commitment to Alzheimer’s disease and other neuroscience priorities and Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.
Each SBIR Road Tour stop will be hosted by a local organization committed to supporting technology-based entrepreneurship, and will provide attendees with a face-to-face opportunity to talk directly to federal agency program managers and decision makers.
The first series will take place the week of March 23rd with stops in Louisville, Kentucky, Nashville, Tennessee, Atlanta, Georgia, and Columbia, South Carolina. The next stops in the tour during the week of April 27th are Long Beach, Mississippi, Ruston, Louisiana, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Wichita, Kansas and Columbia, Missouri. Additional tours will hit the north central and northwest regions. Small technology firms, innovators, scientists or researchers seeking more information on the SBIR Road Tour, including a listing of all states to be visited, should go to: www.sbir.gov.
The highly competitive SBIR/STTR programs provide the needed impetus for many advanced technology firms to move from ideation to commercialization and support this nation’s innovation driven economy. Since the programs’ inception, there have been over 150,000 awards totaling about $40 billion that have helped this nation’s innovators de-risk technology and keep the nation competitive. The SBIR/STTR programs have provided seed funding to companies including Qualcomm, iRobot, Symantec and Genzyme.