Specialized Support for Utah’s Entrepreneurs
A key focus of USTAR is to support startups and emerging companies with services to successfully launch and grow their companies. USTAR entrepreneur services include incubators in both life science and advanced materials, an office dedicated to providing eligible small businesses with the tools to successfully compete for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants and contracts, and satellite offices in central locations across the state to provide access to USTAR services.
For more information on USTAR’s Grant Programs, click here.
USTAR Innovation Center
The USTAR Innovation Center is a high-tech incubator and prototype lab serving the aerospace/defense, advanced materials, composites, and outdoor product sectors. It is a state-of-the-art facility that offers office and lab space, equipment, tailored programs and services to launch and elevate a business, move ideas to market, find resources, network, and collaborate with others to solve real-world problems. The Innovation Center supports entrepreneurs, startup companies, and federal and private partners requiring workspace and access to specialized tools and equipment to develop an idea, conduct R&D activities, or work on rapid prototyping and reverse engineering functions (designing, building, testing, evaluating, refining, and validating tools or parts).
BioInnovations Gateway (BiG) serves Utah’s growing life science industry including emerging biotechnology, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies. BiG has a dual mission: 1) give startup companies a competitive edge at a critical stage in their development by providing access to equipment, laboratory facilities, and technical resources, and 2) provide biotechnology and biomanufacturing students at Granite Technical Institute with advanced workforce training and networking opportunities via BiG’s internship programs.
USTAR SBIR Center
USTAR’s SBIR Center is a resource to small businesses throughout the state working on technology development who have an interest in applying for non-dilutive funding. Through competitive programs, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs enable small businesses to explore technological potential and provide incentive to move towards commercialization. These federal grant programs provide $2.5 billion in funding each year to small businesses in support of innovative research and development.
USTAR’s SBIR Center offers workshops and seminars to assist Utah entrepreneurs and small businesses navigate the process to apply for and win these non-equity position federal funds. From finding a topic match with one of the 11 federal agencies who participate in the program to receiving help on writing a winning proposal, the center provides valuable assistance to Utah small businesses, and all with a better than 25% win rate, almost twice that of the national average. The center has successfully worked with companies from Box Elder to Washington counties and is available for consultations at any time.
USTAR’s two satellite offices, located in Orem and St. George, support and foster regional economic development activities in the science and technology sectors. These activities include collaboration with local and regional universities, business and government entities, technology commercialization support, and providing resources for local entrepreneurs. The offices assist and connect entrepreneurs with training, mentoring, research and industry expertise, funding, and other resources. Building awareness across the state of local, state and federal resources helps emerging companies accelerate technology development and grow into sustainable businesses. The offices are uniquely positioned to engage with local community and business leaders to create and implement sustainable economic development strategies and initiatives to drive science and technology-based economic growth.
The Utah Nanofab can be used to perform advanced materials imaging from the centimeter scale to the atomic scale, as well as micro/nano-scale device prototype development. It houses customized infrastructure, tools, instruments, processes, and expertise necessary to design, build and package micro and nanoscale devices. Facilities include device modeling, design layout, mask fabrication, thin film deposition, patterning, test, and microfluidic laser patterning. Off-campus entities may apply to USTAR to receive subsidized rates to use the facility.
Synthetic Biomanufacturing Facility
The Synthetic Biomanufacturing Facility at Utah State University (USU) provides scale bio-production capabilities with the primary emphasis to provide proof of concept, optimization, and pilot scale studies for bioproduct production. The facility houses New Brunswick BioFlo Pro 500 liter and BioFlo 610 125 liter fermentation systems, which facilitate process optimization for large scale fermentation, a critical component of the commercialization process. The facility also houses a number of small scale fermentation units for proof of concept and fermentation optimization studies.