Kentucky SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program accepting applications from technology innovation start-ups

By Mark Green

The Kentucky SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program for innovative start-up businesses developing new technologies will accept applications for Round 19 between April 1 and April 30, 2013. Companies from Kentucky and those willing to move to Kentucky can apply for and receive Kentucky matching funds for their federal SBIR-STTR grants.

The deadline to submit an application is 4 p.m. (Eastern Time zone) April 30. The awards process will be competitive and include an external review.

SBIR stands for the Small Business Innovation Research program, a federal program that awards research and development funds to small businesses to encourage them to explore their technological potential and innovate new technologies that will be made commercially available to the public. The program is meant to help small businesses compete with large enterprises that have more resources for research and development and subsequently stimulate the U.S. economy by encouraging the development and commercialization of new technologies.

In order to be eligible for a SBIR award, businesses must:
• Be American-owned and independently operated
• Be for-profit
• Employ the principal researcher of the technology being developed
• Have 500 or less employees

The SBIR program occurs in three stages. First, federal money is awarded to the company for research into the merit of the technology. Second, additional money is awarded for the development of the technology. The third step is commercializing the new technology, which the company must fund without any federal awards.

The SBIR program is coordinated by the Small Business Administration.

STTR stands for the Small Business Technology Transfer program, a federal program that awards research and development funds to small businesses that partner with non-profit research institutions to encourage them to jointly explore their technological potential and innovate new technologies that will be made commercially available to the public. STTR is similar to the SBIR program but includes the partnership with a research institution. The program is meant to help small businesses compete with large enterprises that have more resources for research and development and subsequently stimulate the U.S. economy by encouraging the development and commercialization of new technologies.

The Kentucky SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Program matches up to $150,000 for Phase I and up to $500,000 for Phase II (not to exceed two years). These Matching Funds are to be used for new and additional work tasks that are complementary to your existing Federal SBIR/STTR Award.

The distribution of funds for out-of-state applicants is contingent upon meeting all the requirements within the guidelines. This includes relocating the business to the state of Kentucky within 90 days of the date on the matching funds grant agreement. Other stipulations found in the guidelines include that a recipient is required to maintain their Kentucky-based status for a minimum of five years after receipt of the final disbursement of funds, and at least 51 percent of the company’s property and payroll must be in Kentucky, and at least 51 percent of the matching funds grant amount must be spent in Kentucky.

All new applicants must register at www.KYSBIRMatchFunds.com and go through the eligibility screening test there to receive a username and password to apply for state matching funds.

Program guidelines for Round 19 have been revised and are posted on the application site.

Additional solicitations are planned. The amount of funds available for awards each time will be determined by the state Cabinet for Economic Development.

The Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation will administer the Kentucky SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program under a contract with the cabinet.

Those with any questions relating to the program or the application process can get answers from:

Kenneth Ronald with the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation, Program Manager, Kentucky SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program; [email protected], (859) 246-3252.

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