The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) has awarded a total of $2.43 million in matching grants to more than 80 startups since 2020 through its NJ Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Direct Financial Assistance Program. The program supports startups that are receiving funding from highly competitive federal research and development (R&D) grant programs as they work toward commercialization. The $2.43 million in funding includes $525,000 awarded to 17 startups through the program’s recent fourth funding round.
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 arenas that propose innovative ideas that meet specific federal R&D needs as they explore their technological potential. Thirteen of the 17 awardees announced today are currently in Phase 1 of, or have received a Fast-Track or Phase II designation from, the federal SBIR/STTR programs. Each of these awardees will receive up to $25,000 through the NJ SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program. The grants are intended to help awardees increase intensity of research, strengthen commercialization plans, cover operational expenses, and become more competitive for Phase II funding. These awardees include:
The other four awardees announced today have each completed Phase I or more of the federal SBIR/STTR programs and have applied for Phase II federal funding. Each of these awardees will receive bridge grants of up to $50,000 through CSIT’s Bridge Funding program.
“New Jersey startups are creating cutting-edge technologies that will have both far-reaching and long-lasting effects on the worldwide stage and we are proud to connect them with access to the capital they need to succeed,” said CSIT Executive Director Judith Sheft. “Our state’s blend of highly talented workforce and proximity to both a high concentration of scientists and research universities make us an attractive location for startups looking to scale their operations. The NJ SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program is a perfect complement to those assets.”
Awardees in the latest round of NJ SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program funding range from clean technology startups to companies focused in such areas as aerospace, gene therapy, drug discovery, and sustainability and nutrient content of packaged foods. Sixteen of the 17 awardees had fewer than 10 employees at the time of application. Twelve out of the 17 awardees had fewer than five employees.
“This grant program is specifically designed to support the smallest of startups competing in the global marketplace,” said CSIT Chair Debbie Hart. “By helping grantees maximize their federal funds, we are enabling them to scale their operations and focus on commercializing their products. This, in turn, will lead to grantees expanding their presence and creating good paying jobs in the Garden State.”
State Senator Robert W. Singer and Assemblyman P. Christopher Tully played critical roles in securing the funding needed to support startups through the NJ SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program.
“As our innovation ecosystem continues to emerge from COVID-19, it’s more important than ever that we provide our startups the tools they need to compete in the global economy,” Senator Singer said. “This is a great step in helping New Jersey be a leader in technology.”
“An economy fueled by innovation is never just about ideas or human ingenuity alone. It’s about fostering an ecosystem where these ideas can transform into something tangible,” said Assemblyman Tully. “From our groundbreaking medical research to our technological advancements, these grants further demonstrate New Jersey is a proven home for small startups to grow and prosper.”
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