Q: What is SBIR/STTR?
A: The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is a highly competitive federal program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in research and development that has the potential for commercialization. Learn more at SBIR.gov.
Q: What kind of business can qualify to apply for an Innovation Retention Grant?
A: Eligible companies are Louisiana small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) that receive an SBIR/STTR Notification of Award dated on or after June 15, 2022 for Phase I or Phase II funding.
Q: What is the selection criteria?
A: LED will consider various factors when determining which applications will be awarded funding under the program. Factors that may be taken into consideration include, but are not limited to, business location (to ensure statewide distribution of funds) and best interests of the state.
Q: Are the Innovation Retention Grants subject to availability?
A: The Innovation Retention Grant program utilizes state funds appropriated by the Louisiana Legislature in 2022 (Act No. 476). This is a pilot program. Success of the program and future funding is tied to the award of the appropriated money. Total amount of funding expected to be awarded per fiscal year is $1 million, to be divided equally among SBIR/STTR Phase I and II federal grant recipients.
Q: How does a company apply for the program?
A: Louisiana businesses that have been approved for a federal SBIR/STTR grant may submit an application form to [email protected] during the open application period.
Q: When is the open application period?
A: Applications for the Innovation Retention Program will be accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed periodically from August 15, 2023, through October 15, 2023, or until available funds are exhausted.
Q: What is an Official Notification of Award from a federal funding agency?
A: Official Notification of Award may only be issued by the finance, accounting, contracting, or other unit of the agency authorized to commit and obligate the agency under the terms of the Federal SBIR/STTR Solicitation for which an IRG program award is sought. All other forms of notification are not considered official for the purpose of the Innovation Retention Grant program. All applications submitted without an Official Notification of Award will be rejected without consideration.
Q: What is the application review process?
A: Applications will be reviewed to ascertain compliance with the program requirements in the application period, until the funds available for the Retention Program have been exhausted. The date and time of receipt of the complete application (which includes all required documents) will be used to establish the order for consideration of applications.
Q: How will the grant be awarded?
A: Each grant awarded will be divided into two equal amounts and disbursed over a two-year period.
- Stage 1: 50% of the Innovation Retention Grant award will be paid upon proof of a Phase I or Phase II SBIR/STTR award.
- Stage 2: 50% of the Innovation Retention Grant award will be paid upon the submission of evidence that 50% of the SBIR/STTR Phase I or II award has been received.
Q: Will Stage 2 disbursements be made automatically to recipients of Stage 1 awards?
A: Stage 2 disbursements will not be made automatically to recipients of Stage 1 awards. A new application must be submitted which demonstrates that the Stage 1 recipient has met the Stage 2 disbursement requirements. Only Stage 1 recipients are eligible for Stage 2 disbursements.
Q: How can the grant funds be used?
A: Grants are used to fund and advance research and commercialization efforts. The recipients can utilize these funds to support and grow their businesses in Louisiana. Examples of eligible uses of funds include:
- Highly skilled new hires
- Business plan development
- Product testing
- Market research
- Intellectual property protection
- Technical work
Q: Can a company exclude proprietary and confidential information?
A: All records or material containing proprietary or trade secret information submitted by a developer, owner, or manufacturer shall contain a cover sheet that displays in bold type, “DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL PROPRIETARY OR TRADE SECRET INFORMATION.” The developer, owner, or manufacturer shall clearly mark each instance of information which is, in their opinion, proprietary or trade secret information. However, as custodian of such information, there shall be a determination of whether such information is in fact proprietary or trade secret information.
Q: Where can I find the administrative rules for the SBIR/STTR Retention Grant Program?
A: The SBIR/STTR Retention Grant Program rules are located here.