LANSING-Governor Jennifer M. Granholm announced today that the state is paving the way to grow Michigan's economy and create jobs by providing matching grants for Michigan businesses applying for federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants in sectors supportive of the Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor initiative.
The Emerging Business Fund, a program detailed in the 2004 State of the State address and part of the Governor 7-point plan to grow Michigan economy, is prepared to make a total of $1 million available in matching grants of up to $15,000 for Michigan businesses who will use the federal and state dollars for research and development of products they hope to bring to the marketplace.
"The best ideas may die in the research lab or end up somewhere else if entrepreneurs don't have access to early stage capital," Granholm said. "The Emerging Business Fund represents a strong commitment from the state to help new, high-tech businesses take root in Michigan and create new jobs, and we want to see a flood of great proposals in response to this opportunity."
The Emerging Business Fund is one of three new programs Granholm announced in the State of the State address to help entrepreneurs grow new businesses in Michigan. One million dollars of this year's Technology Tri-Corridor funding has been dedicated to the Emerging Business Fund to help entrepreneurs with proposals in the life sciences, homeland security, and advanced automotive technology sectors.
The SBIR program, managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, provides competitively reviewed funding for both proof-of-principle research and development (Phase I) and early stage product development (Phase II). Under the new state program, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) will provide matching funds of up to $15,000 per Phase I SBIR recipient that meets the Tri-Corridor qualifying criteria. The matching funds can be used for all SBIR-allowed purposes and also for the purchase of equipment, legal costs, commercialization costs, and other beneficial expenses not allowed under SBIR guidelines.
"In the highly competitive SBIR funding process, the commitment of state funding will significantly increase a company's chances of receiving federal funding," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "We expect that our $1 million will leverage more than $25 million in additional funding for these companies, providing assistance at a level where it can make a big difference."
According to Jakeway, the matching funds complement other MEDC initiatives to encourage the growth of small businesses in emerging fields. The Great Lakes Entrepreneur's Quest, supported by the MEDC, is an ongoing statewide competition designed to provide the best of Michigan entrepreneurs with financial, educational, and other resources they need to succeed. The Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor, administered by the MEDC, has led to the addition of more than 70 new high-tech businesses in the state, most of them small businesses.
Each year, 10 federal departments and agencies are required to reserve a portion of their research and development funds for SBIR awards to small businesses. The National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, and Department of Defense are among the likely sources of SBIR funding for the three Tri-Corridor sectors Michigan is targeting through its matching program.
For more information about the Michigan Technology Tri-Corridor SBIR Emerging Business Fund or to submit an application electronically, please visit the Technology Tri-Corridor Web site at www.medc.michigan.org/ttc.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.