The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology announced that early-stage innovation companies engaged in the Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) funding can now apply for financial assistance through the New Jersey SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program. This marks the second consecutive year that CSIT is offering the program, which was created to enhance the state’s innovation economy by strengthening the competitiveness of Garden State businesses engaged in the federal SBIR/STTR Program. The application can be found at http://www.njeda.com/csit.
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 (R&D) 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 non-profits. The programs are open to U.S.-based, for-profit small businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
“Governor Phil Murphy has made a strong commitment to reclaiming New Jersey’s role as a leader in innovation while focusing on increasing diversity and inclusion in the state’s innovation ecosystem,” said CSIT Chairman Gunjan Doshi. “Through initiatives like the New Jersey SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program, CSIT is furthering this goal by connecting early-stage companies with capital they need to accelerate the commercialization of their technologies.”
Doshi noted that this round of the New Jersey SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program will offer $550,000 in grants to New Jersey small businesses in two program components. The first component (Direct funding) will provide $25,000 grants to twelve (12) small businesses that have received a federal SBIR/STTR Phase I, Fast-Track or Direct to Phase II award/contract. The second component (Bridge funding) will provide $50,000 grants to five (5) NJ small businesses that have successfully completed Phase I and have applied for Phase II of the federal SBIR/STTR program. These funds can be utilized to maintain project activities and cover general operating costs.
“Emerging New Jersey companies have a proven track record of discovering and developing ground-breaking technologies and life-saving therapies that impact the global marketplace,” said CSIT Executive Director Judith Sheft. “Funding through this program will serve to bolster their financial positions as they vie for federal grants and continue their critical R&D.”
The application, which can be accessed directly at https://application.njeda.com/CSIT, will be open until January 8, 2021. CSIT will hold an informational webinar on December 9 for potential program applicants to learn about the application process. A link to the webinar will be available at http://www.njeda.com/csit.
“Providing funds through the NJ SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program not only supports the efforts of emerging New Jersey companies as they collaborate with governmental agencies, but also adds to the attractiveness that the Garden State offers small, innovation-focused businesses considering growing here,” said State Senator Robert Singer.
In keeping with the Governor’s vision, applications from businesses located in an Opportunity Zone-eligible census tract, minority- or woman-owned businesses or businesses with technology coming out of New Jersey universities are all eligible for bonus points with respect to the scoring criteria. Additionally, applicants who are winning a federal award for the first time will also receive a scoring bonus.
“Two of New Jersey’s greatest assets are the diversity of its people and the talent of its workforce,” said Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker. “Ensuring that New Jersey scientists and innovators have the resources they need to compete on the worldwide stage is fundamental to our duties as Commission members and as leaders of the innovation ecosystem.”
In addition to Senator Singer and Assemblyman Zwicker, Senator Paul Sarlo and Assemblyman Christopher DePhillips are members of the bi-partisan Commission, which also includes representatives from the public and private sectors, as well as academia.
The New Jersey SBIR/STTR Support Program awarded state funding to13 companies during its initial round.