funding

NSF solicits proposals for $20M program to broaden participation in innovation ecosystems

Recognizing that innovation ecosystems require broad networks of partners working together and knowing that many institutions of higher education (IHEs) lack the research capacity to be able to participate in external partnerships, the NSF Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships invites proposals from Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), Predominantly Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), and two-year institutions with limited or no research capacity to apply for the support necessary to become equitable partners with teams competing under the current and subsequent NSF Engines program funding opportunities.

Amazon commits $53M to women-led, climate tech firms, incubators

Amazon is allocating $50 million from its Climate Pledge Fund — Amazon’s venture capital program that invests in companies pioneering decarbonizing technologies and solutions — to invest in women-founded and women-led climate tech companies, as well as incubators and accelerators that prioritize women-led entities.

Would an increase in the quantity of NIH SBIR awards impact their overall quality?

In a recent study titled Does NIH select the right healthcare ventures through the SBIR grant program?, researchers from Rutgers University and the University of Connecticut took advantage of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to conduct a natural experiment. The opportunity was available due to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) decision to use ARRA dollars to fund additional Phase I SBIR awards from general SBIR competitions, and the researchers compared these 19 ARRA-funded awards to the other 479 Phase I awards that were first funded in the same competitions with regular appropriations.

11 additional states approved for federal funding through SSBCI

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced 11 additional states whose SSBCI plans have been approved: Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, and Utah. This is in addition to the 20 states that have been approved this year: California, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, West Virginia, Arizona, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Colorado, Montana, New York, North Carolina and Oregon. Funds aim to make capital more accessible for underserved communities and increase economic growth and opportunity.

Inaugural Open-Source Ecosystems awards announced on eve of next competition deadline

On the closing days of the previous federal fiscal year and with an Oct. 21 deadline looming for new proposals, the National Science Foundation announced the first 24 awards for a new program to support “Pathways to Enable Open-Source Ecosystems” (OSE). NSF’s goal is to exploit the advantages of using open-source development to find technological solutions to problems of national and societal importance. According to the program’s website, the goal is “to fund new OSE managing organizations, each responsible for the creation and maintenance of infrastructure needed for efficient and secure operation of an OSE based around a specific open-source product or class of products.”

SBA announces 44 FAST awardees

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced 44 FAST awards, including 12 new awards,  totaling over $5.4 million, with each up to $125,000 for specialized training, mentoring, and technical assistance for research and development. The goal of the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program is to strengthen the competitiveness of small businesses and startups to improve Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program outcomes.

DOD awards $30M to six Defense Manufacturing Communities

The U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation (OLDCC) recently announced the six winners under the Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program (DMCSP), with funding of approximately $30 million. Each organization received close to $5 million for long-term investments in critical skills, facilities, workforce development, R&D, and more with the goal of strengthening the national security innovation base. The six awards are listed below, while more information can be found on the OLDCC’s website.

Gender and racial makeup of startup's founding team impacts funding

A recent report by DocSend Inc., a subsidiary of DropBox, surveyed over 300 pre-seed startups, finding that on average, in terms of gender alone, mixed teams raise the most funds, while all-male teams raise the least. In terms of both gender and race, on average, mixed gendered teams with minority members raise the most funds while all-male teams with no minority members raise the least. These findings are consistent with prior studies in terms of reflecting the levels of access to funding opportunities, relative lack of investment in diverse teams, and systemic gender bias.

Pennsylvania governor awards $246 million for small businesses through SSBCI

Gov. Tom Wolf awarded $246.8 million to Pennsylvania local economic development partners through the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) this week. The money is expected to help small, socially and economically disadvantaged businesses grow. The Pennsylvania Department of community and Economic Development (DCED) will distribute the funds to partners who will administer the funding to qualifying businesses. The funding is divided between the Direct Venture Investment program ($123 million), which provides funding to economic development organizations that disburse it as seed and later-stage capital for companies, and the Revolving Loan fund program ($123.8 million), which provides funding to economic development organizations to create or capitalize loan funds to support small businesses.

Efforts underway in the states to capitalize on CHIPS funding

With President Biden’s signing the CHIPS and Science Act on Aug. 9, states and universities are already making plans to build on the funding opportunities present in the legislation. For example, a group of Midwest colleges and universities has formed a new coalition to support the advanced semiconductor and microelectronics industry as Intel begins construction on a microchip plant in Ohio, and multiple states are positioning themselves to compete for semiconductor manufacturing incentives — as encouraged by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. This article summarizes these early state actions (for recent federal activity, see SSTI’s coverage).

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