Business Oregon has Matching Grants Available for Oregon Companies that Received Federal SBIR/STTR Awards
Business Oregon and the Oregon Innovation Council (Oregon InC) have opened a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Oregon matching grants to recipients of the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant programs. This RFP seeks applications for matching grants of either Phase I, Phase II, or Fast-Track federal SBIR/STTR awards. The SBIR and STTR grant programs are designed to stimulate technological innovation and provide new opportunities for small businesses to conduct research and development with commercial potential. The RFP opened on September 8, 2021, and will close on October 14, 2021.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) administers the SBIR and STTR programs, which are often referred to as "America's largest seed fund." In 2020, Oregon companies were awarded nearly $45 million in SBIR/STTR awards. SBIR/STTR provides funding that doesn’t dilute ownership, preserving control and flexibility for entrepreneurs.
However, the SBIR/STTR funding alone leaves gaps in areas critical to getting early-stage companies to the point of producing revenue and becoming viable businesses. Federal funding is used to help develop the product, but can’t be used for many critical elements to create and scale a business. That’s where the Oregon matching grant comes in.
Business Oregon’s funds are intended to complement federal dollars and better position the company for future fundraising and growth after the federal grant is completed. The funds can be applied to expenses that help a company stay and grow in Oregon, such as business plan development, facilities, testing equipment, production equipment, intellectual property protection, product marketing, business consulting, and more.
An Oregon company that has received a Phase I SBIR/STTR award may submit a proposal for projects up to $50,000. A company with a Phase II or Fast-Track award may submit a proposal for projects up to $100,000. Business Oregon intends to make multiple awards under this program and will likely issue another matching grant RFP in 2022.
Because the federal program is very competitive, Business Oregon also offers a grant program to help companies develop successful applications for the federal SBIR/STTR program. These grants are called Phase 0 and 00 grants. Awards of up to $5,000 can be used for grant writers/reviewers, accounting services, data gathering, and other assistance related to improving the federal grant application.
A detailed overview of the RFP, selection process, application and supporting resources are on Business Oregon’s SBIR Support Program webpage. Completed applications are due by 11:59 pm PST on Thursday, October 14, 2021.