Innovation Grants Helps Manufacturers Reimagine What’s Possible

By Micki Vandeloo

light bulb signifying the type of big idea that earns innovation grantsHave you ever had an idea for a new product or technology that you were certain would revolutionize your industry?  If so, was money a barrier for commercializing the technology?

Commercialized technologies lead to new jobs and, in some cases, new facilities to manufacture products using those technologies.  Recognizing the economic impact of commercialization, many states and the federal government have instituted innovation grant programs to address the financial barriers faced by manufacturers with big imaginations that result in revolutionary technologies. These programs fund everything from the research and development activities to proof of concept to commercialization.

In this article we will detail some of the funding available in a number of states for innovation.

Research and Development Innovation Grant Funding

  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grants – These grants, offered by 12 federal agencies, fund basic research that results in breakthrough technologies ready for commercialization. The funding agencies prefer to fund manufacturers or technology companies who partner with a research university or a lab.
  • SBIR/STTR Matching Grants – Many states will now match the funding companies receive from the SBIR/STTR program in order to provide greater funding to support these research activities.
  • Matching Grants for Access to Research Facilities– Some states also provide grants to support a company’s effort to access research facilities in the state, which usually require the company to pay a fee for that access.

Proof of Concept Innovation Grant Funding

  • Proof of Concept Grants – While SBIR/STTR funding does not fund commercializing technologies, many states have stepped up to offer Proof of Concept grants. These grants fund testing and trials to prove that a technology works.
  • Challenge Funding – Some federal agencies, private companies and states offer technology challenge funding. These are usually very technology specific and are very competitive.  The funding is provided to create a solution to a broad, pressing societal issue.  The most well-known challenge funding program is X Prize.

Commercialization Innovation Grant Funding

  • Market Development Funding – Some states offer funding to support equipment purchases to make products from recycled equipment or to commercialize a new technology.
  • Trade Adjustment and Assistance Center (TAAC) Funding – These grants, up to $75,000 to fund up to 50% of project cost, are awarded to companies affected by trade (as measured by loss of employees and drops in revenue). They fund outsourced activities such as marketing and engineering.

Do you want to reimagine what might be possible in your industry?  Do you want to create the next big thing?  Let us help you fund your exciting journey by finding and securing innovation grants to redefine what’s possible!

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