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The New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology announced today the online application process opens next week for a $1.25 million round of grant funding for innovative startups engaged with federal SBIR and STTR programs.

The program provides a $25,000 to $50,000 funding match to New Jersey-based companies that have received federal grants under the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Startups may apply for matching grants through the New Jersey SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Support Program beginning Aug. 16 here.

The federal SBIR and STTR grant programs provide more than $3 billion each year to small businesses in a variety of technology and life sciences areas that propose innovative ideas that meet specific federal research and development (R&D) needs.

The SBIR program enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. The STTR program funds cooperative R&D partnerships between small businesses and research institutions such as universities, federal R&D centers, or non-profits. The programs are open to U.S.-based, for-profit small businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

CSIT Chairman Gunjan Doshi said the New Jersey SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Support Program boosts the state’s innovation economy by positioning entrepreneurs for success. Through the two prior rounds of the program, CSIT has awarded a total of $825,000 to 29 New Jersey companies.

This third round of the program will offer $1.25 million in grants to New Jersey small businesses in two program components. The first component (direct funding) will provide $25,000 grants to up to 30 small businesses that have received a federal SBIR/STTR Phase I, Fast-Track or Direct to Phase II award/contract. The grant is aimed at helping awardees increase intensity of their research, strengthen commercialization plans, cover operational expenses, and become more competitive for Phase II funding.

The second component (bridge funding) will provide $50,000 grants to up to 10 New Jersey small businesses that have successfully completed Phase I and have applied for Phase II of the federal SBIR/STTR program. The grant will enable the awardees to maintain operations while waiting on Phase II awards and cover general operational expenses directly related to the project/product for which a Federal Phase II award is being sought.