By Michael Souza
PBN Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE - Two sources of grant funding designed to boost the economy were announced Monday by the Department of Labor and Training and the U.S. Department of Defense.
The R.I. Department of Labor and Training has been awarded a $2.78 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Workforce Innovation Fund, set aside to fund innovative research and development projects.
In addition, the Department of Defense has just commenced its Rapid Innovation Fund, a competitive bid program with the goal of accelerating new designs in the defense industry.
Four solicitations will be made by the department, one for each branch of the military. Proposals will be due by mid-January, with awards announced at this time next year.
Rhode Island Innovation Forum presented opportunities available for small businesses through the SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research program.
SBIR funding is directed to research and development by small businesses working on scientific and technological advances.
Currently, there are 11 federal agencies, including the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, that have SBIR programs.
Over the last four years, Rhode Island companies have received more than 50 SBIR awards worth approximately $20 million, according to the SBIR.
The announcement was made at the Rhode Island Innovation Forum at the Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University. Rep. James R. Langevin hosted the event and roughly 80 business representatives were in attendance.