CSIT makes additional $1M available to small businesses involved in innovation research and transfer technology

Application portal for 4th round of its SBIR/STTR grant funding programs (awards of $25K-$50K) opens this morning

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology is making an additional $1 million of grant funding available to New Jersey-based companies currently involved with — or applying to — the federal Small Business Innovation Research and/or Small Business Technology Transfer.

The application portal for the grants — the fourth round of funding from CSIT’s SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance program — opens Monday morning at 9 (apply here). The application period will close Nov. 14.

The program, which has awarded a total of $1.9 million to 66 New Jersey companies in the first three rounds, is making $1 million available in two program components:

  • Direct funding: CSIT will provide $25,000 grants to up to 20 small businesses that have received a federal SBIR/STTR Phase I, Fast-Track or Direct to Phase II award/contract. The grant is aimed at helping awardees increase intensity of research, strengthen commercialization plans, cover operational expenses and become more competitive for Phase II funding.
  • Bridge funding: CSIT will provide $50,000 grants to up to 10 New Jersey small businesses that have successfully completed Phase I and have applied for Phase II of the federal SBIR/STTR program. The grant will enable the awardees to maintain operations while waiting on Phase II awards and cover general operational expenses directly related to the project/product for which a Federal Phase II award is being sought.

CSIT Chair Debbie Hart said the funding offers additional help to companies at an important time in their development.

“Each New Jersey startup faces unique hurdles as it works toward commercialization, and helping these young companies succeed is a core part of our mission,” she said. “Our SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program has a proven track record of supporting startups that are vying for these federal programs by providing funding to support their operations throughout the application process and beyond.”

The funding comes in addition to the federal SBIR and STTR grant programs, which 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 federal SBIR program enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the means for participating companies to profit from its commercialization. The federal STTR program funds cooperative research & development 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.

CSIT informational webinar

Entrepreneurs who are interested in applying to the New Jersey SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program should attend an informational webinar at 1 p.m. Oct. 11 to learn about the application process. A link to the webinar will be available here. A recording of the webinar will also be available on the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology’s website.

CSIT Executive Director Judith Sheft said the additional funds are another example of the state’s efforts to grow its innovative economy.

“Each dollar awarded through the SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program is a dollar invested directly into New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem,” she said. “We continue to see incredibly high levels of interest in CSIT programs such as this one and are appreciative of Gov. Phil Murphy’s and the Legislature’s ongoing commitment to helping us support innovation-focused companies from their earliest stages.”

In keeping with the governor’s vision for inclusive economic growth, applications from businesses located in an Opportunity Zone-eligible census tract or Government Restricted Municipality, minority- or woman-owned businesses or businesses with technology coming out of New Jersey universities are all eligible for points with respect to the scoring criteria.

Additionally, applicants who are applying to the Direct Financial Assistance Program for the first time will also receive points. Points will also be awarded to first-time federal SBIR/STTR awardees (direct funding) and first-time federal Phase II submitters (bridge funding).