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More than $2.3 billion in federal grants, contracts available to high-tech companies, researchers
by Tribune staff
Aug 13, 2009 | 1694 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
RENO - Each year, more than $2.3 billion in grants and contracts is awarded by 11 federal agencies participating in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Through these competitive programs, small businesses can receive as much as $100,000 for feasibility research in Phase I and up to $750,000 for prototype development in Phase II. Some participating federal agencies also provide additional financial and management assistance subsequent to Phase II. Although competition for this support is stiff, SBIR and STTR remain as the largest startup fund in the United States.

Administrators at the SBA understand that to compete effectively researchers and innovative entrepreneurs require assistance accessing this important program. How can companies and individuals learn about the priorities, the guidelines and the deadlines for competing for these federal funds?

The 2009 National SBIR/STTR Conference, hosted by the University of Nevada, Reno and its Nevada Small Business Development Center, will be held Nov. 2 to 5 in Sparks, providing intensive one-on-one and workshop sessions supported by these 11 federal agencies and additional presenters.

Emphasizing renewable energy and energy-efficient technologies, conference sessions will include presentations by high-level guest speakers, top industry leaders and administrators from the U.S. Department of Defense, Health and Human Services, Department of Energy, Department of Commerce, Department of Education, Department of Transportation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Small Business Administration (SBA), Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Agriculture.

In addition, it is expected that more than 30 prime contractors, SBIR consultants and other companies will be exhibiting and providing attendees with information on how to proceed. Venture capital and angel investors, large companies, small businesses, lenders, researchers, university and federal laboratory representatives and other experts will also be on hand to inform and network with peers and other innovators about product ideas and technology development.

Separate speed-networking sessions allow attendees to interact with other innovative colleagues in three areas of interest: medicine and agriculture, science and defense, and energy and the environment. This enables innovators to meet potential customers and business partners. The conference includes numerous sessions on related topics including intellectual property protection, proposal writing, commercialization, business planning and additional sources of funding.

The annual conference will be held Nov. 2 to 5 at John Ascuaga's Nugget. Conference registration is $395 by Sept. 15 ($495 after Sept. 15), which includes conference breakout sessions and meetings, continental breakfast, lunch and refreshment breaks each day; conference begins at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, and runs through noon, Thursday, Nov. 5. Optional pre- and post-conference breakout sessions are available Nov. 2 and Nov. 5 for additional fees; optional guest sightseeing tours are also available for registration. Participants are responsible for lodging, travel arrangements and costs.

For conference registration, sponsorship/exhibitor opportunities and more information about Re-Energizing America: The 2009 National SBIR/STTR Conference, visit or call Extended Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, (775) 784-4046 or 1-800-233-8928, or email

For more about the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Technology, visit

The Re-Energizing America: 2009 National SBIR/STTR Conference is hosted by the Nevada Small Business Development Center in the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business Administration, and made possible by generous sponsors and underwriters including the Nevada Institute for Renewable Energy Commercialization (NIREC), the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, Dawnbreaker, Holland & Hart and Teva. The conference is administered by University of Nevada, Reno Extended Studies.
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