PROVIDENCE – Seven Rhode Island companies have been selected to receive the first grants awarded under the Innovate Rhode Island Small Business Fund in support of federally funded technological research.
The fund, created by the General Assembly earlier this year, supports companies that have received federal Small Business Innovation Research or Small Business Technology Transfer grants, helping to defray the cost of applying for the SBIR/STTR awards, to match existing SBIR/STTR awards or to hire interns.
Applied Radar Inc., Calista Therapeutics, CREmedical Corp., Cytosolv, Epivax Inc., Vision Systems Inc. and 121 Nexus are the first seven companies to receive Innovate Rhode Island grants. Collectively, these companies have received $1.2 million in federal SBIR/STTR funding to develop technology for federal agencies.
The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Defense are among the federal agencies benefiting from the companies’ research.
“Developing the Innovate Rhode Island Small Business Fund was one of the highlights of the legislative year,” said Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee in a release. “The fund enables us to promote and encourage high-tech research, recognize our small businesses that are doing great work, and attract federal research dollars to Rhode Island.”
Innovate Rhode Island matching grants, awarded quarterly, aim to ensure that recipient companies successfully complete the federally funded work and submit a Phase II SBIR/STTR grant proposal to receive additional funding – up to $750,000 – for the technology development.
In the long-term, bringing more SBIR/STTR funding to Rhode Island will create jobs, support high-growth businesses in the state, and attract needed talent in the life sciences and engineering fields, according to the R.I. Science & Technology Advisory Council, which manages the Innovate Rhode Island Small Business Fund application process.
“Through the Innovate Rhode Island Small Business Fund legislation, the state has taken an important step to foster and support the innovative efforts of Rhode Island companies supporting the Department of Defense and other federal agencies that participate in the Small Business Innovation Research Program,” said Molly Donohue Magee, executive director of the Southeastern New England Defense Industry Alliance and a member of STAC. “The matching funds enable companies to further expand their innovative solutions to provide better, faster and more cost-efficient solutions to pressing government problems and these innovate solutions become an economic generator for the Rhode Island economy.”
Calista Therapeutics, Cytosolv, Epivax Inc. and 121 Nexus received Innovate Rhode Island awards in the amount of $45,000, while Applied Radar Inc. and Vision Systems Inc. each received $44,978 each and CREmedical Corp. received $44,974.
The companies receive 75 percent of the grant money upon successful application to the program, and will receive the remaining 25 percent upon submission of a Phase II SBIR/STTR proposal.
The next call for Innovate Rhode Island applications will be posted in January. Eligible companies wishing to apply for funding must use an online submission tool available on the STAC website at http://stac.ri.gov/innovate-ri-fund.