(Photo by Flickr user Patrick Nouhailler, used under a Creative Commons license)
Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) has landed a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide support to small businesses developing and commercializing high-risk technologies.
CIT is one of 24 grantees receiving awards up to $125,000 as part of SBA’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program. The FAST program was created to support underrepresented entrepreneurs in SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
“A number of these awards are going to partners that are located in Opportunity Zones where job creation and investments are moving forward to revitalize communities,” said SBA Acting Administrator Christopher Pilkerton in a statement.
CIT is located in an Opportunity Zone, which the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development defines as designated rural areas throughout the Commonwealth where investors can gain tax incentives to promote their economic and community development work when they make investments there.
Organizations had to submit proposals endorsed by their state and territorial governors to land an SBA grant. Only one proposal was allowed from each state.
The FAST program provides training, outreach, mentorship and technical assistance for small businesses. CIT is acting as a FAST partner, receiving funding for a year to put on state and regional programs to support potential SBIR applicants and awardees. Grant awards will start being dispersed on Sept. 30.
Side note: NASA also has a big hand in the SBIR and STTR programs. Back in May, the space agency awarded $106 million to U.S.-based small businesses through SBIR to develop tech in the areas of human exploration and operations, space technology, science and aeronautics.
Though D.C. proper didn’t land a grant, the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) was also among the 24 grantee awards.
CIT has been making investments in local startups through its early-stage investment fund CIT Gap Funds and its Virginia Founders Fund, which focuses on supporting companies with female, minority or veteran founders, or other entrepreneurs located in regions outside of Northern Virginia.
Earlier this month, the Commonwealth was ranked #1 for its initiatives in unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business by Business Facilities Magazine. The Commonwealth was recognized for its work and expansion in the UAS space, as many of its initiatives are coming out of its Unmanned Systems Center at the CIT.-30-
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