In the State of Illinois there has been $353 million in SBIR and STTR awards made to small businesses over the last ten years. Of that, $64 million has been awarded to Champaign County companies, representing about 18% of total funding in the State of Illinois in a county with just 1.6% of the state’s population.
Since the EnterpriseWorks incubator opened in the Research Park, funding has become further fueled in this small technology cluster area in Champaign County, with 11% of all State of Illinois SBIR/STTR funding being awarded to its companies in a 36 acre area. SBIR/STTR funding plays an increasingly important role for Research Park small businesses. In 2010, a total of 22 awards were made just to University of Illinois Research Park companies. SBIR/STTR awards are an excellent source of funding for University startups because they require no repayment or loss of equity.
These grants awards are often compatible with the company’s mission and will help fund further research and development. Grants are also compatible with most investor-ownership structures. There are several different factors to consider when seeking out grants such as the grant’s timeline, requirements, and how appropriate it is for your business.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs provide qualified small businesses, including faculty start-ups, with opportunities to propose innovative projects that meet specific federal needs. These programs offer more than $2 billion dollars annually to support the research and development of technology by small businesses across the nation. Federal agencies set aside a portion of their extramural R&D budget to be awarded to small businesses, the amounts are calculated as a percentage of each agency's R&D budget.
The portion allocated to the SBIR program is 2.5% of extramural R&D; and the STTR allocation is .3%. Awards are based on small business qualifications, degree of innovation, technical merit and future market potential. In Champaign County alone, over $12 million in SBIR and STTR funding was awarded to small businesses in 2010.
EnterpriseWorks offers free SBIR and STTR technical assistance and counseling, find out more here.
Training presentation about SBIR and STTR funding, budgeting, and grant writing tips by Dave Kellner (SBIR Consultant for EnterpriseWorks). Training presentation by Jed Taylor, EIR, about commercialization plans for SBIR applications.
Website for the federal SBIR Programs: http://www.sbir.gov/
More information on the SBIR/STTR Programs at SBIR Gateway
Overview presentation about SBIR Program Funding:
Overview of DOE funding in FY2012: Presentation
Sample SBIR Application
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