If you’re emerging innovation-focused company, here’s how to get more funding

CSIT to hold webinars that will help connect N.J. startups to federal SBIR, STTR programs

The concept is straightforward: The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs were created by the federal government to enable small businesses to explore their technological potential and provide the incentive to profit from its commercialization.

By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s research & development arena, officials feel high-tech innovation will be stimulated, and the country will grow its entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

Getting included in the highly competitive programs is anything but easy.

That’s why the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology announced Tuesday that it will host webinars in May and June for emerging innovation-focused companies in the Garden State that are interested in learning how the federal SBIR and STTR programs can help fuel their growth.

Representatives from the National Science Foundation (1 p.m. May 26) and the U.S. Department of Defense (1 p.m. June 9) will give an overview of their agencies’ programs. During these two-hour webinars, attendees will learn the benefits of engaging with these federal programs and get tips and advice for successfully applying for support. More information can be found here.

The payoff can be big.

The federal SBIR and STTR grant programs provide more than $3 billion each year to small businesses in a variety of technology and life sciences areas that propose innovative ideas that meet specific federal research and development needs.

The SBIR program enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. The STTR program funds cooperative R&D partnerships between small businesses and research institutions such as universities, federal R&D centers or nonprofits.

The programs are open to U.S.-based, for-profit small businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

Click here to learn more about the National Science Foundation programs.

Click here to learn more about the Department of Defense programs.

CSIT Executive Director Judith Sheft said the SBIR and STTR programs fit into the state’s drive to grow its innovation economy.

“Creating opportunities for young, innovative companies to leverage federal resources as they grow is key to fulfilling Gov. Phil Murphy’s vision of recapturing New Jersey’s role as a leader in innovation,” she said. “In 2020 alone, more than 125 early-stage New Jersey companies received SBIR/STTR awards totaling nearly $62 million.

“We encourage emerging businesses throughout the state to attend our upcoming webinars to discover how SBIR/STTR funding can help them develop and commercialize life-saving and life-enhancing technologies. This, in turn, will increase their competitiveness on the global stage and will lead to the creation of new jobs here in our state.”

The webinars are the latest in a series of steps CSIT is taking to enhance the competitiveness of New Jersey businesses competing on the worldwide stage, Sheft said. CSIT’s Direct Financial Assistance Program awards grant funding to early-stage companies engaged with SBIR/STTR programs. Through two rounds of funding, CSIT has awarded a total of $825,000 to 29 New Jersey companies.