Universities and other nonprofit research institutions continue to face challenges finding funding and technology development opportunities for their organizations. Partnering with small businesses can generate synergies for leveraging greater opportunities, especially when technology managers take the helm to navigate their university and researchers to a successful collaboration.
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, also known as America's Seed Fund, are some of the largest sources of early-stage capital for technology commercialization in the US. These programs allow US-owned and operated small businesses to engage in federal research and development that has a strong potential for commercialization. These funds are specific budget set-asides reserved for small business research, but universities and nonprofit research institutions can partner with a small business to access these funds as sub-awardees.
Under the SBIR program, universities and nonprofit research institutions usually play key roles as collaborators for small businesses, while under the STTR program, the small businesses must formally collaborate with a university or nonprofit research institution to qualify for the funding opportunity. In addition to access to these funds, the SBIR and STTR programs can also provide technology development and licensing opportunities for university-owned technologies. In this session, we'll discuss how for universities, it can be a win-win for those knowing what's available and how to proactively engage for the institution and its researchers.