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May 21, 2012
By Claudene Wharton
Last year, 14 Nevada companies received grants through the Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer Programs, federally funded programs that support companies pursuing innovative technologies. However, those involved in economic development in the state believe that more Nevada companies can successfully compete for these grants that can provide companies with more than $1 million to develop cutting-edge technologies.
The Nevada Small Business Development Center (NSBDC) and the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business will offer a workshop on June 11, 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at The Center for Unique Business Enterprises (C4Cude) in Reno to assist Nevada companies that may be interested in competing for these funds. The workshop will be led by John Davis, a nationally recognized expert in writing proposals for these programs.
Through the two programs, 11 agencies, such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health, award $2.5 billion annually in grants in two phases. In the first phase, up to $150,000 enables companies to do feasibility studies. In the second phase, as much as a $1.5 million is provided to support further research and development. Each of the agencies has specific priorities and awards the grants to encourage feasibility research and prototype development that helps to meet those identified needs
According to Fritz Grupe, professor emeritus at the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business and manager of the Small Business Innovation Research Program at the NSBDC, proposal writers need to have a clear understanding of what it takes to prepare a persuasive proposal that stands out among the many proposals submitted nationwide.
"The workshop aims to show attendees how to win funding, not just how to write a proposal that meets the basic criteria," he said. "By bringing in Mr. Davis, those who attend the workshop will get more than instruction on proposal writing - they will also get expert advice from someone who has done this nationally for a very long time and has his hand on the pulse of what is going on in D.C."
Davis is especially active in Maryland and Virginia, where he works with government contractors and aerospace firms to acquire federal funding. He has more than 30 years of industrial experience as a research engineer and as a research and development manager. Based in the Washington D.C. area, he keeps close track of how the federal agencies are changing priorities and what kinds of proposals are being funded.
The all-day workshop in Reno on June 11 at C4Cube, 300 E. Second St., Suite 1405, is limited to 25 attendees, and each attendee will receive a 100-page workbook with valuable references, resources and inclusions. Although the workshop is open to all companies in the region, the NSBDC is providing a subsidy of $200 to one representative from the first 10 Nevada companies participating, reducing the cost of the workshop from $325 to $125 for these companies. The workshop is cosponsored by C4Cube, EDAWN, the Nevada Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology and the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization.
For more information on the workshop, contact Grupe at (775) 813-7407 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.