The U.S. Small Business Administration, under its Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program, is soliciting grant applications from several New Jersey economic agencies, partners and other sources to help boost the development of technology from small businesses throughout the state.
According to SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone, the agency’s goal is to increase the number of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards to small businesses through technical assistance and mentoring, especially among women, socially/economically disadvantaged individuals, and small businesses in underrepresented areas.
A pool of $3 million will be made available and distributed in the form of $125,000 grants nationwide. There can be only one proposal submitted from each state and it must be accompanied by a letter of endorsement from the state governor or equivalent.
According to Choose New Jersey, while it is the 4th smallest state in the Continental U.S., New Jersey ranked #5 for net-new tech business establishment growth year over year.
“For some state organization, a $125,000 grant will go a long way in helping even more small business owners to secure SBIR/STTR grants and to help them further develop technology that is currently in the early developmental stages,” said Titone. “The idea is to help those small businesses to take that technology and bring it to commercialization.”
The FAST Partnership Program provides one year funding for organizations to execute state/regional programs to increase the number of SBIR/STTR proposals (through outreach and financial support); increase the number of SBIR/STTR awards (through technical assistance and mentoring); and better prepare SBIR/STTR awardees for commercialization success (through technical assistance and mentoring).
Eligible applicants for FAST funding include state and local economic development agencies, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), accelerators, incubators, Women’s Business Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), colleges, universities, and more.
Proposals will be evaluated by review panels; the SBA, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation will jointly review the recommendations from the panels and will make awards based on proposal merit. Varying levels of matching funds are required from each participating state and territory.
The funding opportunity announcements for FAST will remain open through June 20.
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