Small business innovation research (SBIR) grants are awarded to young companies looking for additional funding to make a difference in their field. In Wisconsin’s past five years, over 120 different companies have received grants that total to an average of nearly 23-million dollars per year. Giving out SBIR grants is important for growing young companies, finding ground-breaking solutions, and providing sustainable solutions to Wisconsin’s communities.
Most grant-awarded companies are based out of Madison, WI and are funded by the Department of Health and Human Services. BioForward member, Scarab Genomics, was one of the recipients of two 2018 SBIR grants for different research projects. 3-million dollars was given for their research of diphtheria mutant toxin, CRM197 in vaccine development & anti-cancer treatment and just under 2 million dollars was given for optimizing simple and complex antibody production.
While human health has been a common trend in SBIR grant awards, many grants have been awarded to companies in the technology, environmental, and national defense industries as well. For example, Intact Solutions received a 400 thousand dollar grant from the Department of Commerce for second phase research in developing additive manufacturing material databases. Additionally, the Attainment Company was awarded just about 200 thousand dollars from The Department of Education for their efforts in developing a self-management app for students with disabilities. SBIR grants do not fit one category in any one industry or location, they have the potential to provide opportunity to communities throughout the state. In the Northwest region of the state, Rush River Research was given 1.5 million dollars to develop an exoskeleton that helps young children to use their arms.
SBIR grants are unique and are used in all innovative industries, but all grants share the fact that they are all used to benefit Wisconsin’s young businesses and communities.