The UW-Extension Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC) supported by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has received a 2013 Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) grant from the Small Business Administration. This award enables the Center to continue its work as the premier provider of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) services in Wisconsin.
“This award is critical to increasing the success of Wisconsin small businesses in obtaining SBIR/STTR grant awards, which often total $10-20 million annually statewide,” says acting Director Cheryl Vickroy. “This funding supports the continuation of our work in further improving client assistance programs and processes, all aimed at increasing client success.”
The FAST program goal is to assist small technology-based firms to acquire federal funding for innovation and commercialization of their cutting-edge technologies. CTC FAST funding will be used to expand support for clients pursuing Phase I and II SBIR/STTR awards through:
- Increased hands-on support for entrepreneurs and small businesses pursuing federal funding;
- Expansion of pre-submission panel and independent reviews;
- Continuation and improvement of training events; and
- Greater outreach to and recognition of clients through newsletters and social media.
In partnership on this effort, the WEDC provides funding support for micro-grants made to clients by the CTC. Wisconsin-based technology firms use those micro-grants to access additional support from domain experts within the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network (WEN) which is a part of the Center. CTC/WEN will continue to expand training and outreach efforts through its network of Service Providers and others that support those firms. “These strengthened collaborations will help to better identify and nurture potential SBIR opportunities throughout the state,” says Vickroy.
Ultimately the expanded CTC/WEN services mean Wisconsin’s technology companies will have increased opportunities and competitiveness to win these federal grants and commercialize their technologies. The resulting increase in technology startups will create new high-value jobs that will positively impact the state’s overall job market.