New Jersey startups that are currently involved with, or applying to, the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and/or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs will soon have access to an additional funding source, the New Jersey Commission on Science, Innovation and Technology (CSIT) announced today. CSIT will open applications for the fourth round of its SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program on Monday, October 3 at 9:00 a.m. EDT. The program provides a $25,000 to $50,000 funding match to New Jersey-based companies that have received federal SBIR/STTR grants.

The federal SBIR and STTR grant programs provide more than $3 billion each year to small businesses in a variety of technology and life sciences areas that propose innovative ideas that meet specific federal research and development (R&D) needs. The SBIR program enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the means for participating companies to profit from its commercialization. The STTR program funds cooperative R&D partnerships between small businesses and research institutions such as universities, federal R&D centers, or non-profits. The programs are open to U.S.-based, for-profit small businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

Through three prior rounds of its SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program, CSIT has awarded a total of $1.9 million to 66 New Jersey companies.

“Each New Jersey startup faces unique hurdles as it works toward commercialization, and helping these young companies succeed is a core part of our mission,” said CSIT Chair Debbie Hart. “Our SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program has a proven track-record of supporting startups that are vying for these federal programs by providing funding to support their operations throughout the application process and beyond.”

This fourth round of the program will offer $1 million in grants to New Jersey small businesses in two program components. The first component (Direct funding) will provide $25,000 grants to up to 20 small businesses that have received a federal SBIR/STTR Phase I, Fast-Track, or Direct to Phase II award/contract. The grant is aimed at helping awardees increase intensity of research, strengthen commercialization plans, cover operational expenses, and become more competitive for Phase II funding. The second component (Bridge funding) will provide $50,000 grants to up to ten New Jersey small businesses that have successfully completed Phase I and have applied for Phase II of the federal SBIR/STTR program. The grant will enable the awardees to maintain operations while waiting on Phase II awards and cover general operational expenses directly related to the project/product for which a Federal Phase II award is being sought.

“Each dollar awarded through the SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program is a dollar invested directly into New Jersey’s innovation ecosystem,” said CSIT Executive Director Judith Sheft. “We continue to see incredibly high levels of interest in CSIT programs such as this one and are appreciative of Governor Phil Murphy’s and the Legislature’s ongoing commitment to helping us support innovation-focused companies from their earliest stages.”

Sheft encouraged entrepreneurs that are interested in applying to the New Jersey SBIR/STTR Direct Financial Assistance Program to attend an informational webinar on October 11 at 1:00 p.m. to learn about the application process. A link to the webinar will be available at https://tinyurl.com/NJCSIT-Phase-4. A recording of the webinar will also be available on CSIT’s website.

The application, which can be accessed directly at https://application.njeda.com/CSIT, is now open until November 14 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

In keeping with the Governor’s vision for inclusive economic growth, applications from businesses located in an Opportunity Zone-eligible census tract or Government Restricted Municipality, minority- or woman-owned businesses or businesses with technology coming out of New Jersey universities are all eligible for points with respect to the scoring criteria. Additionally, applicants who are applying to the Direct Financial Assistance Program for the first time will also receive points. Points will also be awarded to first time federal SBIR/STTR awardees (direct funding) and first-time federal Phase II submitters (bridge funding).