Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Kentucky High-Tech Small Businesses Grants Attracting Nationwide Interest
20 Kentucky firms share $1.9 million from state to match federal awards
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher, who has worked to make Kentucky a leader in supporting innovative small businesses, today announced that 20 Kentucky high-technology “start-ups” will share nearly $1.9 million in state matching funds as part of an initiative to attract and support high-tech small businesses.
State matching funds are awarded to companies that win grants in Phases 1 and 2 of the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) programs. Kentucky is the first state to match both phases of the federal grants, providing comprehensive funding.
“Kentucky is a leader when it comes to supporting our innovative small businesses, and the number of companies expressing an interest in this program proves that,” said Governor Fletcher. “These grants will be used to develop new technologies into commercial products. As these Kentucky start-up companies grow and prosper, they will repay our investment many times over by providing high-paying jobs for our citizens.”
The announced matching grants range from $69,999 to $100,000 per company for their Phase 1 research, which tests the feasibility of a concept or technology. Kentucky also has started matching federal awards for Phase 2 research and development, during which a company aims at making the technology ready for commercialization. The maximum state match for Phase 2 federal awards is up to $500,000 per year for up to two years. The opportunity for recipients of Phase 1 and Phase 2 federal awards to earn up to $1.1 million in matching funds from Kentucky has drawn attention to the nationally advertised program from high-tech firms in other states that are interested in relocating to Kentucky.
The 20 Kentucky firms receiving matching funds specialize in human health and development, information technology and communications, bioscience, energy and environmental technologies, and materials science and advanced manufacturing.
The companies are ECM Biosciences and customKYnetics, both of Woodford County; Sequela, of Oldham County; Wilson’s Cedar Point Farms, of Pulaski County; Oraceuticals, Lumenware, Adaptive Intelligent Systems, ParaTechs, Mersive Technologies, Topasol, Neathery Technologies, and Advanced Dynamics, of Fayette County; and Naprogenix, Potentia, SureGene, ApoImmune, SCR, Regenerex, Hosting.com and Scout Diagnostics, of Jefferson County.
Companies eligible for the matching funds must be located in Kentucky or commit to relocating to Kentucky within 60 days, after which they can begin receiving the matching grant. The companies must also agree to remain in Kentucky for at least five years.
Advanced Dynamics Inc., a high-tech start-up from Utah, is the first to move to Kentucky. The company specializes in integrated and high-fidelity modeling and simulation for aerodynamics, structural mechanics and other applications.
The Cabinet for Economic Development, through its Department of Commercialization and Innovation (DCI), is managing the program, which is being administered under contract to DCI by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation.
“This innovative program is a perfect example of the type of outside-the-box thinking that will enhance and grow Kentucky’s new economy,” said Economic Development Cabinet Secretary John Hindman. “It shows we are committed to supporting our high-tech small businesses as Kentucky moves toward a more knowledge-based, high-tech economy.”
DCI began accepting applications for the first round of the new program in November. Applications for the second round are now being accepted. A link to the online guidelines and application form for the Kentucky program are posted at www.ThinkKentucky.com/dci/SBIR.
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2006 totaled more than $3.4 billion with the creation of over 18,200 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at http://www.thinkkentucky.com/.