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February 6, 2012
By Claudene Wharton
Companies pursuing innovative technologies received a gift at the end of the year when Congress reauthorized the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs for six years. The two programs provide $2.5 billion a year for small, high-technology companies.
This month, the Nevada Small Business Development Center (NSBDC) and the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business will offer free workshops in Reno and Las Vegas to assist Nevada companies that may be interested in competing for these funds.
"These grants can be a significant help to small, high-technology businesses that need funding for research and development," said Fritz Grupe, professor emeritus at the University's College of Business, who manages the program at the NSBDC to assist businesses interested in accessing these funds in Nevada.
The funding offered through the two programs involves 11 federal agencies, such as the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture and the National Institutes of Health. 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.
Funding through the programs occurs in three phases, with Phase I offering up to $225,000 for six months of research and Phase II providing up to $1.5 million for development of prototypes. Some of the agencies offer a third phase that provides follow-up funding for marketing and production efforts.
"These are exactly the types of efforts that the NSBDC and the University want to support," Grupe said. "These types of programs help small businesses drive innovation, create jobs and grow the economy."
Grupe said that more than 40 percent of the funds are awarded to companies with 10 or fewer employees, and many of the companies awarded funds have three or less employees. Nearly one-third of the funds go to first-time awardees.
"We want to encourage Nevada companies to more aggressively pursue these federal funds, and we are here to help them do that," Grupe said.
The free workshops will be held:
Those interested in attending are asked to register at http://nsbdc.org/education-training/business-training-calendar/. For more information, contact Grupe at (775) 813-7407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.