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Mississippi Governor Wants $4M More for TBED Initiatives

December 04, 2006

Momentum Mississippi, the state’s public-private economic development strategy first funded with $28 million last summer, could see an additional $4 million for new TBED initiatives if the state legislature passes Gov. Haley Barbour’s recommendation during its next session. Gov. Barbour announced his plans during the annual board meeting of Momentum Mississippi, which was attended by more than 75 industrial, academic and civic leaders.


TBED topics dominated the first half of the group’s board meeting, outlining the need for increased public support to seed three grant programs intended to support university-industry research, technology commercialization and innovation grant programs. The programs, collectively called the Mississippi Technology Commercialization Fund, include:

  • The Research and Development Voucher Fund, which would target Mississippi-based companies that have partnered with accredited higher education institutions within the state and are in need of seed and early-stage capital. Maximum funding for a single firm would be $200,000 over two years, not to exceed $100,000 each year.
  • The same funding structure would be offered to promising spin-off companies through the New Technology Business Fund, which would support companies attempting to commercialize research created at Mississippi’s universities.
  • The Rural Innovation Fund would provide funding at two levels for firms based in rural parts of the state with fewer than 150 employees. The first level would distribute $10,000 to companies at the development and proof-of-concept phase, and the second level would provide $100,000 to companies at the prototype development stage.

All three programs are to be administered by the Mississippi Technology Alliance, with the state funding coming through the Mississippi Development Authority.


The board meeting also provided an opportunity for managers of the recently created Mississippi Angel Fund to highlight their progress toward a capitalization goal of $20 million by 2007. To date, the pooled private investment company has completed two technology-related investments and expects to have $10 million in assets by the end of 2006, and $20 million in 2007.


Additional information about the entire Momentum Mississippi program, including the new components mentioned in the article, can be found at: http://www.msmec.com/mechw/hw.dll?page&file=momentummississippi