Capital Region Tech Firms Received $16M in Federal Seed Funding in FY 2021
Capital Region small businesses received nearly $16 million in federal seed funding for R&D in fiscal 2021. Those recipients included three startups that got their first awards under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, according to a Center for Economic Growth (CEG) analysis of preliminary data from SBIR.gov.
In fiscal 2021, firms in the eight-county Capital Region received 25 SBIR awards totaling $14 million1 and seven STTR awards totaling $1.9 million. Combined, there were 32 SBIR and STTR awards totaling $15.9 million. That was 23.5 percent less funding than the previous fiscal year’s total.
Both SBIR and STTR programs provide small businesses with funding to stimulate technological innovation and federal R&D needs and to increase commercialization. Whereas the STTR program requires firms to partner or collaborate with U.S. research institutions, such partnerships or collaborations are optional under the SBIR program.
Eight federal agencies awarded the funding, with the Department of Defense ($6.2 million) and Department of Energy ($5.9 million) accounting for three quarters (76.5 percent) of the total awards. Other awarding agencies included the Department of Agriculture ($99,834), Department of Commerce ($399,999), Department of Transportation ($149,652.08) and National Science Foundation ($767,981).
The Capital Region startups that received their first SBIR and STTR awards in fiscal 2021 included:
SupreMEtric, Glenmont: received a $256,000 STTR Phase I award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research with the University on body fluid identification for forensic purposes using Raman spectroscopy.
Optical Metrology Solutions, Niskayuna: received a $255,981 SBIR Phase I award from NSF for research on a tool for fast, high-performance measurement for precision parts manufacturing
Endeavos Innovations, Clifton Park: received a $256,000 SBIR Phase I award from NSF for research on a novel system for uniform preload in bolted joints
Other SBIR awardees included:
Fastwatt, Clifton Park: two awards totaling $1.7 million
Free Form Fibers, Saratoga Springs: two awards totaling $353,000
International Electronic Machines, Troy: two awards totaling $249,486
Kitware, Clifton Park: three awards totaling $1.8 million
Ligo Analytics2 (Kitware), Clifton Park: four awards totaling $2.9 million
Lux Semiconductors, Albany: three awards totaling $2.5 million
Mohawk Innovative Technology, Albany: two awards totaling $2. 3 million
NOMIS Power Group, Albany: Newtonville: three awards totaling $654,700
Simmetrix, Clifton Park: one award totaling $239,878
Tech Valley Sensor, Troy: one award totaling $749,999
Other STTR awardees included:
Kitware, Clifton Park: two awards totaling $274,996
Ligo Analytics2, Clifton Park: one award totaling $852,101
StemCultures, Rensselaer: one award totaling $225,501
United Aircraft Technologies, Troy: one award totaling $150,000
As a regional technology center under the New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership program, CEG’s Business Growth Solutions (BGS) unit offers a menu of support services for entrepreneurs. These include improving access to facilities, prototyping support with 3D printer services, and identifying potential investors, mentors, and resources. BGS also provides opportunities for startups to showcase business ideas through programs such as VentureB. Chamber support services for entrepreneurs include, loan programs, entrepreneur boot camps, BIPOC Business Development, and an MWBE program.
1 SBIR total excludes one award to Natrion. While the award lists an Albany address, the company’s website only lists offices in Binghamton and Champaign, Illinois.
2 Ligo Analytics is a Dallas firm, but several of its SBIR awards in FY2021 awards list the same address as Kitware. One award description notes that “Kitware will work with industry and the Federal Government to create an open source, permissively licensed, high-performance, web-based platform for the experimental data community.” Another award- for furthering Ligo’s open-source platforms, states, “Such platforms provide Kitware with significant business opportunities, as open software platforms lend themselves to a services business model where the company can provide technology integration services with customers and collaborators to build valuable, competitive products and services.”
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