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What is the Utah Innovation Center? 

The Utah Innovation Center, housed within the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, provides a one-stop solution for Utah startups and emerging companies working in technology innovation. The Center provides consultations, training, and direct proposal assistance to help Utah companies be successful in winning non-dilutive funding dedicated to research and development through the $4B federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Utah Innovation Center Services

Innovation Center services are available statewide, giving Utah’s technology-oriented companies a distinct advantage in today’s competitive environment. Services include:

The Utah Innovation Center helps drive opportunities for the state’s technology innovation ecosystem through the federal SBIR/STTR programs.  This non-dilutive funding mechanism, both grants and contracts, is dedicated to research and development of new technology. Across the nation, startups and small businesses from diverse technology areas and markets compete for this federal funding to stimulate technology innovation and provide broad societal impact. The Innovation Center helps Utah’s small technology businesses to successfully win R&D funding and commercialize life-changing technologies that benefit us here at home and around the world.

 

Utah Technology Innovation Funding

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SBIR 101 Workshop

This is a free, hour-long workshop offered monthly by the Innovation Center to help Utah entrepreneurs and innovators learn about the non-dilutive federal funding of the SBIR/STTR programs. Attendees learn how to apply for these grants and contracts that are dedicated for use on R&D of innovative technologies that have a path to be commercialized by the small business. They learn about the services offered by the Utah Innovation Center and how they can determine if the program is right for them. Register for the SBIR 101 Workshop.

A video recording of the workshop is also available whether for those new to the SBIR/STTR programs or to review the material as a refresher. Watch the recording of the SBIR/STTR 101 Workshop.

Additional Workshops

The Utah Innovation Center also offers longer, in-depth workshops for entrepreneurs planning on applying for specific SBIR/STTR solicitations and regularly hosts federal program managers, providing coveted one-one-one meetings for Utah innovators with federal decision-makers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

 

How much do Innovation Center services cost?

Consultations, editing and guidance are available at no cost to Utah businesses. Events, including workshops and seminars, may have nominal fees.

What are the SBIR and STTR programs?

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants and contracts fund small businesses’ research and development (R&D) projects. Together, they provide $4 billion annually to help small businesses minimize risk so innovative technology can move closer to commercialization.

Currently, 11 federal agencies participate in SBIR and five of those also participate in STTR, both of which are congressionally-mandated programs. These non-equity position dollars pay for a company’s research and development efforts. There is no loss of technology ownership, no loss of intellectual property and no payback of funds.

How much funding is available and what can it be used for?

This non-dilutive funding is offered in competitive phases:

  • Phase I typically offers $150,000 to $250,000 for a six-month project to prove the feasibility and technical merit of your idea or technology.
  • Phase II typically offers $1 to $1.5 million for a 24-month project and is meant to expand the Phase I results and evaluate commercial potential.
  • Phase III takes place as the technology moves from the laboratory to the marketplace. While SBIR-STTR funds do not support this phase, some agencies offer sole-source contracts or follow-on non-SBIR funded research and development to help the small business commercialize a product.

What does the company 'give up' to get these funds?

Nothing. There is no loss of technology ownership, no loss of intellectual property and no payback of funds. There is a clause in the award language authorizing the government to license the technology in a national emergency. However, this has been exercised just once in over 40 years and thousands of awards.

What agencies participate?

Agencies are mandated by Congress to participate in the SBIR program when their extramural research budget is greater than $100 million and in the STTR program when it is over $1 billion. Currently, 11 agencies participate in the SBIR program and of those, five also participate in the STTR program (indicated in bold below).

You can search for open topics at Open Topic Search. For links and guidance on SBIR /STTR funding, you can go to SBIR.gov or any of the individual agencies participating in the programs: 

Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Department of Commerce
     National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
     National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Department of Defense (DoD)
Department of Education (DoED)
Department of Energy (DOE)
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
Department of Transportation (DOT)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Science Foundation (NSF)

Who is eligible for SBIR-STTR funding?

All companies that possess a Utah business license and are eligible for the federal SBIR/STTR program may work with the Utah Innovation Center. The company must meet these federal requirements:

  • For-profit company
  • American-owned
  • At least 51% owned by individuals
  • 500 or fewer employees

Staff

_Program Manager

April Young Bennett

801-957-5239 aybennett@utah.gov

_Program Manager

Jared Goodspeed

435-817-7682 jbgoodspeed@utah.gov

    _Outreach Coordinator

    Ashley King

    385-377-3091 ashleyking@utah.gov

      Offices

      385-377-3091

      innovationutah@utah.gov

       

      60 East South Temple, Suite 300

      Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

      Utah Innovation Center

      385-377-3091

      innovationutah@utah.gov

       

      60 East South Temple, Suite 300

      Salt Lake City, Utah 84111