Nationally recognized program grows local businesses, attracts out-of-state companies
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 15, 2015) – Developing better cancer drugs, preventing mosquito-borne diseases and improving food safety. Those are just some of the innovative projects Kentucky companies are developing.
To help these companies turn their research into reality, Gov. Steve Beshear this week announced that six high-tech businesses have been awarded a total of $1 million as part of a program to support and attract technology-based small businesses to Kentucky.
The 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 Kentucky companies are developing products and technologies that will greatly enhance life as we know it,” said Gov. Beshear. “I’m pleased that we’re able to support these innovators who also are helping create high-paying jobs throughout the Commonwealth and encourage them to keep or locate their companies right here.”
The companies receiving awards in the first quarter of 2015 include:
· 3P BioTechnologies Inc. (Oldham County): The company is working to develop improved cancer-fighting oral drugs which aim to enhance the absorption of the drug while reducing the dosage amount.
· Amelgo LLC (Kenton County): Amelgo is working on a non-antibiotic therapeutic to help treat and prevent mastitis in dairy cows. This will greatly reduce the need for prophylactic antibiotic use, thus reducing the exposure and dangers to consumers, cows and dairy workers.
· Bert Thin Films LLC (Jefferson County): Bert Thin Films is creating cost-saving copper-based ink to replace the silver metallization pastes used in silicon solar cells.
· Mosquito Mate Inc. (Fayette County): This company is developing a new method of mosquito control to combat mosquito-borne diseases. Male mosquitoes, which do not bite or transmit disease, are infected with a larvicide, which they will carry back to breeding sites.
· Nanowise LLC (Fayette County): Nanowise is developing new technology and materials for lithium batteries. Applications of these hybrid cells include military equipment, power tools and medical gear.
· Okeanos Technologies LLC (Boone County): Okeanos is commercializing a new type of desalination technology. It will start mass producing a cartridge that will desalinate water at a commercially relevant water flow.
Since its inception in 2006, Kentucky’s SBIR-STTR program has awarded nearly $52 million to support more than 100 companies. These businesses have leveraged an additional $90 million in federal funds. A total of 36 companies have located, or are planning to relocate, their businesses to Kentucky to take advantage of Kentucky’s unique matching 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.
The Cabinet manages the Kentucky SBIR-STTR Matching Funds program, which is administered under contract by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC). KSTC accepts applications for the program four times per year. A link to the online guidelines and application form for the Kentucky program are posted at www.ThinkKentucky.com/dci/SBIR.