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Small business grant writing workshop to be held at SDSU

South Dakota State University - KELO File Photo
South Dakota State University - KELO File Photo

Brookings, S.D. (KELQ FM) - South Dakota State University will host an instructional workshop for writing Small Business Innovation Research grants Thursday, Aug. 8, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. in the Lewis and Clark Room 262 of SDSU’s Student Union.

Eleven federal agencies participate in the SBIR program and five in the STTR program, supporting a wide range of research areas. SBIR agencies award 4,800 individual research and development grants and contracts annually, the sum of all awards totaling more than $2.5 billion.All funds are awarded exclusively to small businesses developing innovative new products and processes.

These grants often help fund the commercialization of research efforts and innovations.Medgene, a Brookings-based biotech firm conducting research related to breast cancer, was awarded a Phase 1 grant of $135,000 by the National Institute of Health as part of the SBIR program. Medgene is one of four SDSU-affiliated businesses with SBIR funding.The success rate for SBIRs is double that of most research grants, explained Alan Young, chief scientific officer of Medgene.  Young began submitting SBIR proposals in 2004 and his first three received funding.  

While the success rate for most research grants is in the single digits, Young estimated the SBIR success rate at between 17 and 20 percent approval.Young views the review process as beneficial for small businesses requesting SBIR funding: "It provides an independent evaluation of what others think of your idea.

”The upcoming workshop will explain the criteria for funding, the types of projects eligible for SBIR and STTR funding, how to build competitive teams and company formation, and how to build relationships with agency program managers.“SBIR is the largest source of capital for early-stage research and development,” said SBIR grant application specialist and workshop coordinator Gary Archamboult.

Due to the success of the SBIR program, Congress has approved increasing the SBIR funding level to 3.2 percent by 2017. This will make an additional $500 million available to small businesses annually.

Archamboult assisted South Dakota State University’s Materials Evaluation and Testing Laboratory researchers and American Science and Technology engineers in writing the proposal for their Phase I SBIR grant.The funds were put toward development of wireless communication for inspecting aircraft parts that eliminates the need to thread cumbersome cables into hard-to-reach areas.For more information on the upcoming workshop, please contact Laura Bremer at 605-688-5908 or Gary Archamboult at 605-360-7382.

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