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USTAR’s SBIR-STTR Assistance Center – Winning for Utah

Written by Mary Cardon, director of USTAR’s SBIR-STTR Assistance Center

Utah’s small businesses with a focus on technology have an additional team member to find and win non-equity research and development funds – USTAR’s SBIR-STTR Assistance Center (SSAC). In FY16, the Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), will oversee and fund over $3 billion specifically to help U.S. technologies move forward. To help Utah companies have their best chance of winning these competitive funds, USTAR began funding the SSAC through their Outreach program in 2008. Today, this statewide resource has over a 25% win rate, nearly double the national average, and has helped bring over $14 million in non-equity funds to Utah companies with winners from Box Elder to Washington County.
The high win rate comes from the SSAC’s deep understanding of the process and the expertise they bring to that process. This ‘inside perspective’ helps companies create a compelling proposal when the SSAC and company work together on the project, making certain all the basics are covered and the details tie together. The SBIR-STTR process is lengthy in nature and averages about $1 million in total funding available per project. The SSAC team works as a team member with Utah companies throughout the entire process to find an agency (or agencies) that best fits their technology; assess gaps in the company and team with regard to submission and help find solutions; guide and edit documents and help with submission.
The SSAC encourages all companies to meet directly with them to discuss their fit with the program. There are however, basic requirements for the company which can easily be reviewed at the website HERE. The Center offers a basic class regularly as well as workshops and seminars statewide to help understand the process and the path to success, also found on the website. To work with the SSAC, the company must have a Utah business license.
If you have a new technology or a ‘twist’ on an existing technology; if your company is in the beginning stages or you have revenues and profit, and want to see how your company could benefit from these non-equity dollars – contact the SSAC today at utahsbir-sttrcenter@utah.gov.

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