More Opportunities to Apply for Innovation Economy Grants, CSIT Says

Back in June, we told you about 12 New Jersey tech and life sciences companies that won CSIT Innovation Economy grants and two additional companies that received bridge funding through a New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) program sponsored by the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) See that article here.

Before Thanksgiving, the CSIT announced that early-stage innovation companies engaged in the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding programs can once again apply for financial assistance through the CSIT SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program.

According to the NJEDA, the program was created to enhance the state’s innovation economy by strengthening the competitiveness of Garden State businesses engaged in the federal SBIR/STTR programs. The application can be found at http://www.njeda.com/csit

The federal SBIR and STTR grant programs provide more than $3 billion each year to small businesses in a variety of technology and life sciences areas that propose innovative ideas that meet specific federal research and development (R&D) needs, the NJEDA noted. The SBIR program enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. The STTR program funds cooperative R&D partnerships between small businesses and research institutions such as universities, federal R&D centers, or nonprofits. The programs are open to U.S.-based, for-profit businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

“Governor Phil Murphy has made a strong commitment to reclaiming New Jersey’s role as a leader in innovation while focusing on increasing diversity and inclusion in the state’s innovation ecosystem,” said CSIT Chairman Gunjan Doshi. “Through initiatives like the New Jersey SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program, CSIT is furthering this goal by connecting early-stage companies with capital they need to accelerate the commercialization of their technologies.”

Doshi noted that this round of the New Jersey SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program will offer $550,000 in grants to small businesses in New Jersey in two program components. The first component (direct funding) will provide $25,000 grants to 12 small businesses that have received a federal SBIR/STTR Phase I, Fast-track or Direct Phase II award/contract. The second component (bridge funding) will provide $50,000 grants to five small businesses in New Jersey that have successfully completed Phase I and have applied for Phase II of the federal SBIR/STTR program. These funds can be utilized to maintain project activities and cover general operating costs.

“Emerging New Jersey companies have a proven track record of discovering and developing ground-breaking technologies and life-saving therapies that impact the global marketplace,” said CSIT Executive Director Judith Sheft. “Funding through this program will serve to bolster their financial positions as they vie for federal grants and continue their critical R&D.”   

The application, which can be accessed directly at https://application.njeda.com/CSIT, will be open until January 8, 2021. CSIT will hold an informational webinar on December 9 for potential program applicants who want to learn about the application process. A link to the webinar will be available at http://www.njeda.com/csit.

In keeping with the Governor’s vision, applications from businesses that are located in an Opportunity Zone, are minority- or woman-owned or that have technology coming out of New Jersey universities are all eligible for bonus points with respect to the scoring criteria. Additionally, applicants who are winning a federal award for the first time will also receive a scoring bonus.

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