Home » Nine high-tech small businesses awarded $2.7 million

Nine high-tech small businesses awarded $2.7 million

Nationally recognized program encourages local business growth

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 15, 2015) — Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that nine high-tech companies have been awarded $2.7 million as part of a program to support and attract technology-based small businesses to Kentucky.

sbirThe companies are receiving funding through the state’s competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Matching Funds program. Kentucky’s program matches all or part of federal SBIR-STTR awards received by Kentucky-based companies. It also provides a match to out-of-state companies, should they be willing to relocate to the commonwealth.

“These companies are developing some of the nation’s most promising new technologies,” Beshear said. “From improving motors for electric vehicles, to improving treatments for patients with neurodegenerative diseases, to developing technology to make missiles more accurate, Kentucky is proud to support these innovators and entrepreneurs creating high-tech businesses and high-paying jobs throughout the commonwealth.”

In all, 30 Kentucky companies received a combined $7.4 million in SBIR-STTR matching grants from the state last year.

Since its inception in 2006, Kentucky’s SBIR-STTR program has awarded nearly $51 million to support more than 100 companies. These businesses have leveraged an additional $89 million in federal funds. A total of 36 companies have or are planning to relocate their businesses to Kentucky for the program.

Eligible high-tech companies can apply for the federal grants in two phases. Businesses in the concept or feasibility phase can apply for Phase I funding while companies in full-scale research and development can request Phase II assistance.

Kentucky’s competitive program will match federal Phase I grants up to $150,000 and match Phase II funding up to $500,000 per year for two years. Funds are awarded on a quarterly basis.

Kentucky is the only state that matches Phase II awards at this level.

Kentucky’s program has grown substantially in the past eight years. Currently, the state ranks 27th in the nation, based on the amount of federal funding received compared to 42nd in 2006 (SBIRSource.com). Since the start of the Commonwealth’s program, Kentucky businesses have achieved a higher success rate in receiving federal SBIR-STTR grants compared to the national average. A link to the online guidelines and application form for the Kentucky program are posted at www.ThinkKentucky.com/dci/SBIR.

The nine companies receiving awards in the fourth quarter of 2014 include:

  • Advanced Energy Materials LLC (Jefferson County) – Creating a process to lower sulfur levels in transportation fuels, making them more environmentally friendly.
  • Advanced Genomic Technology LLC (Jefferson County) – Developing a blood test for early prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease. The blood test would project dementia risk without relying on family history.
  • Gen9 Inc. (TBD – relocating from New York) – Developing a device to help the elderly living in a home-based care environment and to assist their caregivers by facilitating remote monitoring of daily activities.
  • Innovative Diagnostics Inc. (Fayette County) – Creating a new device that uses saliva to determine periodontal health.
  • MEMStim LLC (Jefferson County) – Developing a process to create small electrode arrays for cochlear implants. The product will assist in residual hearing prevention, as well as drug delivery for inner ear health and cell regeneration.
  • Mercury Data Systems Inc. (Fayette County) – Developing a new inertial measurement unit for missile systems to make them more accurate.
  • nGimat LLC (Fayette County) – Developing insulation materials enabling electric vehicles and other motors and coils to operate longer and more efficiently.
  • Pyrochem Catalyst Company (Jefferson County – relocating from Pennsylvania) – Developing a flame spray technique, which will improve the chemical reactions used to create fuel cells.
  • TwinStar TDS LLC (Fayette County) – Developed a new porous needle for brain infusion catheters, which will allow improved drug delivery for treatment of neurodegenerative and malignant diseases of the central nervous system.