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High-Tech Small Business Funding Available in Kentucky

Gov. Steve Beshear has announced the opening of a fourth round of funding for Kentucky’s SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program. Kentucky’s high-tech small businesses that have received federal grants for their research and development can apply for matching state funds through July 31, 2009, through the Cabinet for Economic Development.

The matching funds program is the nation’s first to specifically match both Phase 1 and Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) federal grants. Since 2006, Kentucky’s unique SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program has made 66 awards to 42 high-tech companies for over $14 million, including seven high-tech firms that moved to Kentucky to receive matching awards.

”This one-of-a-kind program has been turning the heads of high-tech small business leaders around the country and is helping serve notice that Kentucky is in the technology game in a big way,” said Gov. Beshear. ”At the BIO tradeshow I attended this year in Atlanta, researchers and high-tech business executives from across the nation were lining up at the Kentucky pavilion to learn about our program.”

Kentucky matches up to $100,000 of federal Phase 1 and up to $500,000 of federal Phase 2 SBIR and STTR awards to Kentucky-based high-tech businesses. Companies from other states that are eligible for the matching funds must commit to relocating to the state and be Kentucky-based within sixty days, after which they can begin receiving their matching funds. The companies must remain in Kentucky for a minimum of five years.

”We’ve had a great deal of positive feedback from our high-tech community about how these matching funds are helping our small high-tech companies grow and succeed in commercializing their technologies,” said Cabinet for Economic Development Interim Secretary Larry Hayes. ”The program is a great tool to have when trying to attract and retain high-tech companies and jobs in Kentucky.”

Kentucky matches SBIR-STTR awards on a competitive basis for companies conducting research and development in five high-tech focus areas: Human Health and Development, Information Technology and Communications, Biosciences, Environmental and Energy Technologies, and Materials Science and Advanced Manufacturing. The matching funds program is managed by the Department of Commercialization and Innovation (DCI) within the Cabinet for Economic Development.

”The SBIR-STTR program not only matches Phase 1 and Phase 2 federal awards, it requires our Phase 1 match recipients to apply for federal Phase 2 grants in order to receive all of their Phase 1 matching funds,” said DCI Commissioner Deborah Clayton. ”This requirement has helped significantly increase the number of Kentucky companies applying for and receiving larger Phase 2 federal awards, which has boosted the overall amount of federal research dollars coming to our state.”

DCI started accepting applications for the fourth round of the program on July 1, 2009, and will continue accepting applications through July 31, 2009. Up to three additional rounds of funding will be held by June 2010.

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