New program supports and mentors SBIR/STTR grant proposals

SAGE, the Sierra Accelerator for Growth and Entrepreneurship, encourages small business development for innovation research and technology transfer

A group of business people around a conference table

Participants in SAGE receive training, mentoring and proposal support.

New program supports and mentors SBIR/STTR grant proposals

SAGE, the Sierra Accelerator for Growth and Entrepreneurship, encourages small business development for innovation research and technology transfer

Participants in SAGE receive training, mentoring and proposal support.

A group of business people around a conference table

Participants in SAGE receive training, mentoring and proposal support.

A new program, funded through a grant from the Small Business Administration, supports the development of proposals for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.

Developed through the office of Enterprise & Innovation with its partner, Apio Innovation Transfer, the Sierra Accelerator for Growth and Entrepreneurship (SAGE) will provide training, mentoring and proposal-development support worth $3,500-5,000 to qualified, selected applicants.

“The goal is to increase the number of SBIR/STTR proposals and awards in Nevada,” said Ellen Purpus, assistant vice president for enterprise and innovation in the University’s Research & Innovation division. “We are here to offer training and support.”

The program is open to University faculty, staff, students and the community, and outreach to underserved populations is desired. Applicants who may not be ready and are not selected for the first round of SAGE awards will receive feedback and be encouraged to re-submit.

Open, hour-long information sessions will be held the week of Oct. 21, 2019:

  • Monday, Oct. 21, 2:30 p.m., University of Nevada, Reno Innevation Center—Powered By Switch, Concept Café, 450 Sinclair St.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 22, 1:30 p.m., Harry Reid Engineering Laboratory, room 109/110
  • Thursday Oct. 24, 2 p.m., Pennington Medical Education Building, room 16

Purpus notes faculty are quite experienced and accomplished in the development of grants that pertain to their area of research and scholarly interest, such as science, engineering, arts or humanities. However, SBIR/STTR processes call for business proposals which might be new territory for many.

“We are creating an infrastructure whereby we can help these folks understand how to craft these business- or market-oriented grants, and write them in such a way that they’ll be funded,” she said.

“We are planting seeds to support business development,” Purpus said. “Nevada is growing and diversifying its economy, and supporting smaller tech companies can go a long way toward this goal. Early-stage companies are often at a stage that they are not able to obtain investors. SBIR/STTR grants can give early-stage companies a leg up.”

For more information contact Purpus at epurpus@unr.edu.

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