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Innovate Mississippi Awarded SBA Grant to Support Small Business Innovation and R&D Commercialization

(Jackson, Miss.) The U.S. Small Business Administration has awarded Innovate Mississippi $125,000 to assist Mississippi research-oriented companies in getting SBIR/STTR Grants to develop and bring their research to market.

MS-FAST (The Mississippi – Federal and State Technology Partnership), which is led by Innovate Mississippi and The University of Southern Mississippi Business and Innovation Assistance Center, is in place to help Mississippi small businesses better compete for research grants. MS-FAST provides expertise, assistance and funding to encourage commercialization of technologies that can be developed because of these programs.

The grant will focus on improving outcomes for under-represented entrepreneurs in SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs (SBIR/STTR), and increase participation for women-owned, rural-based, and socially and economically disadvantaged firms. Once the program begins on October 1st, R&D focused small businesses can apply for “Phase 0” funding to help write grant applications and will receive specialized training, outreach, mentoring, and technical assistance.

Each applicant was endorsed by its state or territorial governor, and only one proposal could be submitted for each state or territory. Proposals were evaluated by panels of reviewers from SBA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Missile Defense Agency, U.S. Navy Office of Naval Research, and the National Institutes of Health. Varying levels of matching funds were required, based on the number of SBIR Phase I awards in each state.

“The MS-FAST Program and our partnership with USM to help Mississippi companies has previously shown tremendous increases in awards of SBIR/STTR grants for the Mississippi companies we have assisted, and we are excited to once again have the program in place,” said Tony Jeff, president and CEO of Innovate Mississippi.  “We appreciate the support of SBA in bringing this assistance to Mississippi small businesses.”