The U.S. Small Business Administration granted 24 awards up to $125,000 per recipient in FY 2019 under its Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program. FAST’s objective is to improve outcomes for underrepresented entrepreneurs in SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs and increase participation for women-owned, rural-based, and socially and economically disadvantaged firms.
“FAST partners support an important role in attempting to fill various gaps that R&D-focused small businesses may have to help them win SBIR/STTR awards,” said Acting Administrator Christopher Pilkerton. “They focus on the needs of next-generation high-tech firms and support them through the entire cycle from ideation to commercialization. SBIR funding is one way to do that. Additionally, a number of these awards are going to partners that are located in Opportunity Zones where job creation and investments are moving forward to revitalize communities.”
FAST provides specialized training, outreach, mentoring, and technical assistance for R&D focused small businesses. The program provides one-year funding to organizations to execute state/regional programs that support potential SBIR applicants and awardees. The FAST award project and budget periods are for a base period of 12 months, beginning September 30, 2019.
This year’s recipients hail from several states across the country, and include state and local economic development entities, Small Business Technology Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, incubators, accelerators, colleges, and universities. All organizations will provide support to small businesses developing and commercializing high risk technologies.
Awardees – 2020 Cohort
- Arkansas – University of Arkansas at Little Rock
- Colorado – The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
- Connecticut – Connecticut Innovations, Inc.
- Hawaii – Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC)
- Indiana – Northeast Indiana Innovation Center*
- Kansas – Wichita State University*
- Louisiana – Louisiana Business & Technology Center/LSU*
- Maryland – Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)
- Minnesota – Minnesota High Tech Association
- Mississippi – Innovate Mississippi*
- Missouri – The Curators of the University of Missouri, Office of Sponsored Programs
- Montana – Montana State University
- Nebraska – Nebraska Business Development Center, University of Nebraska at Omaha*
- Nevada – University of Nevada, Reno*
- New Mexico – Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University*
- North Carolina – First Flight Venture Center, Inc.
- Ohio – Ohio Aerospace Institute*
- Oklahoma – The University of Oklahoma Tom Love Innovation Hub*
- Oregon – VertueLab*
- South Carolina – University of South Carolina
- Tennessee – Launch Tennessee
- Virginia – Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)*
- West Virginia – TechConnect West Virginia
- Wyoming – University of Wyoming Small Business Development Center
*located in an Opportunity Zone
FAST Candidates were endorsed by each of their state and territorial governors, as only one proposal can be received per state or territory. Proposals were evaluated by panels of reviewers from SBA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research, and the National Institutes of Health. Varying levels of matching funds were required, based on the number of SBIR Phase I awards in each state.
In FY 2019, $3,000,000 was appropriated as grants for entities to carry out targeted activities from September 30, 2019 through September 29, 2020. Entities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa are eligible to receive funding to provide outreach, technical, and financial assistance in support of the SBIR/STTR programs. Additional information can be found at www.sbir.gov/about-fast.
SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund, which each year provides more than $3.7 billion in early stage seed capital totaling over 5,000 awards to small businesses. Eleven participating federal government agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by the SBIR/STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S. Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at www.sbir.gov.