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SBA announces first L2M winners, Tibbetts Awards

The U.S. Small Business Administration has announced the winners of two award programs. The Lab to Market (L2M) competition was launched in September and recognizes organizations, programs and ideas that support R&D innovation ecosytems, particularly those focused on underrepresented communities and pandemic responses. SBA also announced recipients of the annual Tibbetts Awards, which recognizes companies, organizations, and individuals for exceptional success achieved through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

Federal budget continues growth for innovation initiatives

The final FY 2021 budget provides $1.4 trillion in total federal funding, including increases in some programs affecting the innovation economy. Among SSTI’s Innovation Advocacy Council priorities: EDA’s Build to Scale received an appropriation of $38 million, SBA’s Regional Innovation Clusters received $6 million, and SBA’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) program received $4 million. These are just a few of the federally-funded initiatives that support regional innovation economies and a wide range of federal R&D activities.

SBA awards up to $3 million in FAST funding to 24 organizations

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced 24 organizations as recipients of the 2020 Federal and State Technology partnership (FAST) program grant awards. The awards of up to $125,000 focus on “specialized training, mentoring, and technical assistance for R&D-focused small businesses.” The FAST program grants one-year funding to organizations that work to partner with other in-state groups.

Inclusive innovation ecosystem prize competition launched

The Lab-to-Market (L2M) subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on the Science and Technology Enterprise is launching a $325,000 prize competition to highlight successful examples of innovation ecosystems, particularly existing resources that support underserved communities or remarkable responses to the pandemic environment. There are three categories for applicants with an informational webinar

Updated SBIR/STTR website more organized and accessible

The Small Business Administration (SBA) recently rolled out a new website for the SBIR/STTR program which SBA administers. Reorganized and including new landing pages for entrepreneurs, support organizations, and federal agencies, the new page provides quicker and easier access to the right information.

Second round of PPP more evenly distributed

SBA began offering a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on April 27, and SBA’s data indicate this round is better distributed across businesses and the states than the first. As of May 8, round two has approved $189 billion across nearly 2.6 million loans, 55 percent more than in all of round one. The average loan size in round two is $73,488, which is a significant drop from the first round’s average of $206,022.

SBA PPP loans approved in all states, Great Plains lead per capita distribution

SBA released data on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) this week for all approved loan activity through April 13 and told banks Wednesday night that the program is nearly out of funds. The data show more than 1 million loans worth more than $247 million approved across all states and territories.

Congress passes $2 trillion emergency aid package

The third package of emergency assistance related to COVID-19 is currently making its way through Congress, having passed the Senate last night and being expected to pass the House tomorrow. The legislation includes additional emergency loans and tax credits for retaining employees, as well as near-term aid for individuals, small businesses, and some of the most affected industries. While relatively little assistance is directly relevant to science- and innovation-related business development, many broader small business provisions can still be of assistance to these companies.

Study finds SBA’s FAST is working

The Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) is intended to increase innovation-based small business awareness and participation in the SBIR and STTR programs in places and populations that are underrepresented in the programs’ award portfolios.  Through FAST, the Small Business Administration (SBA) makes small, matching one-year awards to state programs on a competitive basis.

New SBA administrator commits to address SBIR/STTR staff backlog

The Senate confirmed the nomination of Jovita Carranza to become the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) this week. During her recent confirmation hearing, Carranza was pushed on the committee’s concerns about the leadership of SBA’s Office of Innovation and Investment, which overseas both the Small Business Investment Corporation (SBIC) program and SBA’s SBIR/STTR policy office.

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