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News and Events

2018 USTAR Legislative Recap

Each Utah legislative session presents challenges and opportunities to support the mission of the Utah Science Technology and Research Initiative (USTAR) and promote technology-based economic development across the state.

The 2018 Legislative Session ended with the passage of SB239, which modified USTAR’s statute. As signed by Governor Gary Herbert, the bill’s intent is to address the ideological question of the role of government in supporting technology commercialization, practical questions regarding the structure of USTAR programs, and whether redundancies exist with other government programs.

Below are the key changes to USTAR as well as next steps for USTAR during the 2018 interim legislative session.

University Legacy Programs

The most significant and immediate impact of SB239 is the transfer of USTAR legacy programs, in particular the Principal Researchers, to the University of Utah and Utah State University beginning July 1, 2018. This includes the transfer of USTAR buildings on each respective campus by October 1, 2018. Funding was included in the bill to maintain contractual commitments for the Principal Researchers.

Interim Legislative Session and Next Steps

During the 2018 interim legislative session, USTAR will undergo a study to examine the effectiveness and efficiency of USTAR programs, and the appropriate role of government in technology based economic development.

As the interim agenda is set, companies and researchers who have benefited from USTAR support will be needed to testify in legislative committees, provide letters to legislators, and offer other demonstrations of support for the program.  If you are willing to participate in these efforts, or have questions about USTAR programs, please contact USTAR Communications & Programs Director Linda Cabrales at

Grant Programs and Commitments for 2018

USTAR will honor all prior grant commitments as well as those in process including the current round of the Technology Acceleration Program (TAP). Per legislative directive, all other USTAR grant programs (and the Technology Commercialization Innovation Program at GOED) will be on hold until the conclusion of the interim study.

All other USTAR services and resources including the USTAR SBIR Center, the Incubation Enterprise, and outreach offices will continue unchanged.


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