The Indiana Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), in partnership with the Indiana Aerospace & Defense Council (IADC) and the Indiana Office of Defense Development (IODD), hosted at group of 150 attendees at the Indianapolis stop of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) SBIR Road Tour; a national outreach effort by the SBA to connect small businesses with research & development funding provided by the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
These federal programs offer funding for the research and origination of early-stage technologies with commercial potential. Nationally, 11 federal agencies distributed more than $2 billion of these awards to small businesses in a variety of different industry sectors.
“The event offered Hoosier small businesses a unique opportunity to meet one-on-one with federal Program Managers to explore funding avenues to move their innovative ideas forward,” stated Shane Springer, Indiana PTAC State Director.
Attendees were also invited to bring their innovations to the event and participate in a technology showcase organized by IADC. The showcase served as a forum for attendees to display their technologies and network with other innovative companies from around Indiana.
The SBIR Road Tour is one part of the state’s comprehensive effort to encourage technology commercialization and entrepreneurship. Last year, Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann announced a partnership between the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE), the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) and Elevate Ventures to help small businesses tap into the SBIR and STTR programs.
The Indiana PTAC, which operates under OSBE, provides small businesses free technical assistance with the complicated SBIR and STTR proposal-writing process; including ways to identify research topics that best align with the company’s expertise or technological vision. So far in 2015, the PTAC has aided over 100 small Indiana businesses in pursuing SBIR/STTR funding. Additionally, Elevate Ventures utilizes the State of Indiana’s 21st Century Research & Technology Fund to supplement Phase 1 proposals with a support letter committing $0.50 of additional funding for every federal dollar awarded, up to $50,000.