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SBA Awards Grant to UND Center for Innovation

Grant to Support R&D Commercialization and Small Business Innovation
Release Date: 
Thursday, August 17, 2017
Release Number: 
17-48 ND
Tiffani S. Clements, 202.401.0035

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has granted $125,000 to the University of North Dakota’s (UND) Center for Innovation.

“With continued funding from SBA, the Center for Innovation’s North Dakota FAST Program can expand outreach and technical assistance programs to reach more prospective clients and to increase proposal submission and award results,” Emily O’Brien SBIR/STTR director for the UND Center for Innovation said. “The FAST program will improve the participation of small technology firms from North Dakota in the innovation and commercialization of new technology.”

The SBA has granted up to $125,000 awards in FY 2017 to 16 Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program recipients including state and local economic development entities, small business development centers, colleges and universities and up to $200,000 awards to five Small Business Technology Development Centers (SBTDCs) that provide support to innovative, technology-driven small businesses.

FAST is designed to stimulate economic development with outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses, with a particular emphasis on fostering participation from women-owned and socially and economically disadvantaged firms, helping them to compete in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs. 

“SBA is looking forward to working with these organizations to increase the understanding of the SBIR/STTR programs,” Administrator Linda McMahon said. “FAST partners fill an important role on the state level, providing training, financial and technical assistance for small, advanced technology businesses, by helping them navigate federally-funded innovation and R&D programs.”

The following recipients of the FY 2017 FAST awards are:

Regular FAST State Organizations up to $125K:

  • Connecticut (Connecticut Innovations, Inc.)
  • Illinois (Women's Business Development Center)
  • Iowa (Iowa Innovation Corporation, IICorp)
  • Kansas (Wichita State University)
  • Kentucky (Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation)
  • Louisiana (LA Business & Technology Center)
  • Minnesota (Minnesota High Tech Association)
  • Montana (Montana Department of Commerce, MT Technology Innovation Partnership)
  • New Mexico (Arrowhead Center, New Mexico State University)
  • North Dakota (University of North Dakota Center for Innovation)
  • Ohio (Ohio Aerospace Institute)
  • Oklahoma (Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma Office of Research Services)
  • Oregon (Oregon Built Environment & Sustainable Technologies Center, Inc)
  • Pennsylvania (Ben Franklin Technology Partners Corporation)
  • Tennessee (Launch Tennessee)
  • Wisconsin (Board of Regents of University of Wisconsin System, UWEX)

SBTDCs up to $200K:

  • Arkansas (Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center)
  • Delaware (University of Delaware, DSBDC)
  • Idaho (Boise State University, Idaho Small Business Development Center)
  • Nebraska (Nebraska Business Development Center NBDC)
  • Wyoming (The University of Wyoming, Wyoming SBDC Network)

FAST funding awardees must demonstrate how they will help support areas such as:

  • small business research and development assistance,
  • technology transfer from universities to small businesses,
  • technological diffusion of innovation benefiting small businesses,
  • proposal development and mentoring for small businesses applying for SBIR grants; and,
  • commercializing technology developed through SBIR grants.

Candidates were endorsed by each of their state and territorial governors, as each state may submit only one proposal. After evaluations were made by panels from SBA, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation jointly reviewed panel recommendations and made FAST awards based upon the merits of each proposal. Varying levels of matching funds were required, based on the number of SBIR awards in the state or territory of each economic development agency. UND Center for Innovation received a State Match of $62,500 for a total of $187,500. The FAST award project and budget periods are for 12 months, beginning September 30, 2017.

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About FAST

FAST is a competitive grants program designed to strengthen the technological competitiveness of small businesses and improve the participation of small technology firms in the innovation and commercialization of new technology.  In FY 2017, $3,000,000 total was appropriated as grants for entities to carry out activities from September 30, 2017 through September 29, 2018.  All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, and American Samoa are eligible to receive funding for providing services such as outreach and technical assistance in support of the SBIR/STTR Programs. Additional information about FAST can be found at


The programs represent the nation's largest source of early stage research and development funding for small businesses. The programs are administered by the SBA in collaboration with 11 federal agencies, which collectively supported more than $2.5 billion in federal research and development funding per year. Companies supported by the SBIR and STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S. Additional information about each program, as well as past and current topics can be found at