Seven Wisconsin small high-tech businesses recently received a $75,000 grant to commercialize their innovations through the SBIR Advance program, a collaboration between WEDC and the UW-Extension Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC).
Grant recipients include V-Glass, Milwaukee; Fiberstar Bio-Ingredient Technologies, Eau Claire; Medical Cyberworlds, Verona; and four Madison companies: C-Motive, Isthmus Bio, Nutrient Recovery and Upcycling, and Pan Genome Systems.
They are among the Wisconsin companies already receiving federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase 1 and Phase 2 grants. The U.S. government created those programs to stimulate domestic high-tech innovation, providing approximately $2.5 billion of federal research funding each year.
With 38 Wisconsin companies receiving federal SBIR/STTR awards this year, the state ranks 24th in securing these competitive funds. While these awards help advance technology development, the federal funds cannot be used for certain activities, including patent work and customer validation. To help fill the commercialization gap, WEDC and CTC in August launched the SBIR Advance program.
Already, the program is having a positive impact for the selected companies. Many of the companies are using the SBIR Advance funding to test new technology to accelerate their growth and help them secure Phase 2 funding of the federal SBIR grant program.
“Businesses working through business modeling processes are more likely to be awarded an SBIR grant,” said CTC Interim Director Dave Linz. “In addition, states with matching grant programs have increased success rates for the next phase of federal funding—and that can exceed $1 million.”
Wisconsin companies that received federal SBIR awards for the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2014, were honored at a luncheon during the 2014 Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium.