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‘Partners in Progress’ workshop to focus on SBIR program

By : Susan E. Barker

There are 1.6 billion reasons for local researchers, entrepreneurs and inventors to attend an upcoming workshop, not including the free lunch.

The no-cost workshop, “Partners in Progress: BU, Greater Binghamton and the Small Business Innovation Research Program,” will give participants the chance to learn more about a federal program that offers more than $1.6 billion a year to research-based small businesses. The event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 3 at the Holiday Inn Arena is sponsored by Binghamton University and the Greater Binghamton Coalition.

The workshop will include five sessions. Two will specifically target the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, a federal program designed to stimulate technological innovation, utilize small business to meet federal research and development needs, and increase private sector commercialization.

One of the SBIR programs will afford a formal introduction to the program. The other will feature anecdotal accounts from researchers and entrepreneurs on SBIR awards. Other sessions will address building partnerships between academia and industry, business planning and market research, protecting intellectual property, and real-life stories of successful and not-so-successful SBIR partnerships.

The event will also include a variety of displays featuring economic development agencies, university resources, entrepreneurial support and service agencies, and industry success stories.

Marcene Sonneborn of the Central New York SBIR Outreach Program will discuss how to tap the resources. She will also provide an overview of other technology funding programs, such as the Small Business Technology Transfer Research Program (STTR).

The SBIR and STTR programs support advanced research in scientific and engineering areas and encourage the conversion of government-funded research into commercial applications. Discussion will also include how these programs encourage university-industry collaboration, as well as faculty spin-off ventures.

The SBIR program offers Phase I feasibility study grants of up to $100,000 and Phase II evaluation of commercialization grants of up to $750,000 through the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; NASA and the National Science Foundation.

The STTR system requires five federal departments and agencies — Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, NASA and the National Science Foundation — to reserve a portion of their research and development for awards to small business/nonprofit research institution partnerships. Under the STTR program, Phase I startup grants to explore feasibility are up to $100,000 and Phase II grants to determine commercial potential are up to $500,000 for as long as two years.

To register for the program, which includes a free networking lunch and an end-of-day reception, contact the Colleen Springsteen or Elizabeth Tuttle at 778-2447 or email etuttle@co.broome.ny.us. Space is limited and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
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Last Updated: 10/14/08