technology

CSIT Announces Competitive State Grant Program

Selected Applicant will Receive $225,000 to Help Emerging Companies Apply to SBIR/STTR Program

The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) will begin accepting applications next month for a competitive matching grant that will provide $225,000 to a New Jersey technical assistance provider vying for participation in the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program. CSIT plans to award the grant to one organization seeking to execute state/regional programs that bolster the number of proposals submitted to the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Support programs. The application for the grant opens March 22 and will be available at http://www.njeda.com/csit.

The FAST Partnership Program provides federal financial assistance to local organizations for outreach, technical assistance, and financial assistance initiatives that are designed to increase the number of SBIR/STTR applications. The FAST Program requires a state-level match to receive any federal funding. Technical assistance to be offered by the selected organization will include informational and technical seminars on SBIR/STTR, one-on-one support for proposal preparation, specialized reviews, webinars, online assistance, critiques and suggestions on how to create competitive applications and submission guidance.

The highly-competitive, three-phase federal SBIR and STTR grant programs provide qualified small businesses opportunities to propose innovative ideas that meet specific research and development (R&D) needs of the federal government. The SBIR 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 a small business and a research institution such as a university, federal R&D center, or a non-profit research institution. Eligibility requirements for both SBIR and STTR include that a company must be a U.S.-based, for-profit small business with fewer than 500 employees.

“Our top priority at CSIT is ensuring that young, innovative companies have the resources they need to succeed in the global economy,” said CSIT Chairman Gunjan Doshi. “Identifying and funding a technical assistance provider that can help businesses build a more comprehensive and robust SBIR/STTR application is imperative to increasing the success rate of emerging New Jersey businesses engaged with these federal programs.”

In addition to the $225,000 matching grant, CSIT will also work with Gov. Phil Murphy’s office to provide the required corresponding supporting letter necessary for the organization to apply to the Federal FAST grant. This will allow the New Jersey applicant to submit a competitive application while also leveraging 1-to-1 matching CSIT funds if they are selected for the FAST Partnership Program. The funds will be made available to the NJ organization regardless of whether they receive the federal FAST Partnership Program award.

“This competitive grant is intended to harness the expertise of a seasoned technical assistance provider to propel New Jersey companies toward success within the SBIR/STTR programs while simultaneously supporting the provider’s own FAST Partnership Program application,” said CSIT Executive Director Judith Sheft. “We have a strong base of innovation in New Jersey, yet the Garden State ranks fifth regionally in total awards received through the SBIR/STTR programs, behind Massachusetts, New York, Maryland and Pennsylvania. We see the program announced today as an excellent opportunity to leverage one of our state’s greatest resources – its people – to move up in the ranking and showcase the breadth of innovation stemming from the Garden State.”

CSIT will host an informational webinar on the FAST Grant Program on March 2. Registration information can be found on the CSIT webpage. A recorded version of the webinar and copy of materials presented will be made available on the CSIT webpage following the event. Please note that applications can be submitted March 22, 2021 through April 5, 2021.

To be eligible for the FAST Grant Program, applicants must be New Jersey-based organizations and must have at least three years of experience administering technical assistance programs including outreach activities and financial support activities. Full eligibility requirements and application details can be found at http://www.njeda.com/csit.

This FAST Grant Program technical assistance grant is part of the NJ SBIR/STTR Support Program, which was originally announced in 2019. The NJSBIR/STTR Support Program has two components, technical assistance and direct financial assistance. CSIT anticipates announcing the awardees of the latest round of direct financial support in the coming days.

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