SBA Awards Grants to 24 Organizations to Support Small Business Innovation and R&D Commercialization


The U.S. Small Business Administration granted 24 awards up to $125,000 per recipient in FY 2019 under its Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program.  FAST’s objective is to improve outcomes for underrepresented entrepreneurs in SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs and increase participation for women-owned, rural-based, and socially and economically disadvantaged firms.

 “FAST partners support an important role in attempting to fill various gaps that R&D-focused small businesses may have to help them win SBIR/STTR awards,” said Acting Administrator Christopher Pilkerton.  “They focus on the needs of next-generation high-tech firms and support them through the entire cycle from ideation to commercialization. SBIR funding is one way to do that. Additionally, a number of these awards are going to partners that are located in Opportunity Zones where job creation and investments are moving forward to revitalize communities.”

FAST provides specialized training, outreach, mentoring, and technical assistance for R&D focused small businesses. The program provides one-year funding to organizations to execute state/regional programs that support potential SBIR applicants and awardees.  The FAST award project and budget periods are for a base period of 12 months, beginning September 30, 2019.

This year’s recipients hail from several states across the country, and include state and local economic development entities, Small Business Technology Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, incubators, accelerators, colleges, and universities.  All organizations will provide support to small businesses developing and commercializing high risk technologies.

Awardees – 2020 Cohort




University of Arkansas at Little Rock


The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade


Connecticut Innovations, Inc.


Hawaii Technology Development Corporation (HTDC)


Northeast Indiana Innovation Center

(*located in an Opportunity Zone)


Wichita State University

(*located in an Opportunity Zone)


Louisiana Business & Technology Center/LSU

(*located in an Opportunity Zone)


Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO)


Minnesota High Tech Association


Innovate Mississippi

(*located in an Opportunity Zone)


The Curators of the University of Missouri, Office of Sponsored Programs


Montana State University


Nebraska Business Development Center, University of Nebraska at Omaha

(*located in an Opportunity Zone)


University of Nevada, Reno

(*located in an Opportunity Zone)

New Mexico

Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University

(*located in an Opportunity Zone)

North Carolina

First Flight Venture Center, Inc.


Ohio Aerospace Institute

(*located in an Opportunity Zone)


The University of Oklahoma Tom Love Innovation Hub

(*located in an Opportunity Zone)



(*located in an Opportunity Zone)

South Carolina

University of South Carolina


Launch Tennessee


Center for Innovative Technology (CIT)

(*located in an Opportunity Zone)

West Virginia

TechConnect West Virginia


University of Wyoming Small Business Development Center

FAST Candidates were endorsed by each of their state and territorial governors, as only one proposal can be received per 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.


About FAST

In FY 2019, $3,000,000 was appropriated as grants for entities to carry out targeted activities from September 30, 2019 through September 29, 2020.  Entities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa are eligible to receive funding to provide outreach, technical, and financial assistance in support of the SBIR/STTR programs. Additional information can be found at


SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund, which each year provides more than $3.7 billion in early stage seed capital totaling over 5,000 awards to small businesses. Eleven participating federal government agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by the SBIR/STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S.  Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit


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