Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear Recognizes Kentucky High-Tech Award Recipients

Press Release Date:  Monday, August 17, 2009  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Programs have helped create over 450 new high-tech companies and 3,000 jobs


FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2009) – Gov. Steve Beshear today recognized more than 50 Kentucky researchers and high-tech entrepreneurs who have recently received funding from the Commonwealth.  Since 2001, Kentucky has awarded more than $72 million through its high-tech programs, which have helped create more than 450 new high-tech companies, and deliver over 3,000 new high-paying and high-tech jobs for Kentuckians.  

In turn, the new companies have attracted over $250 million in private investments, generated more than $600 million in sales revenues and resulted in nearly $9 million in payroll tax revenue being returned to the state. 

“Researchers and high-tech start-up companies need support – they especially need cash to survive and to thrive,” said Gov. Beshear. “That is why Kentucky provides a wide range of grants, investments and other funding to support research and technology commercialization.”

The state’s high-tech award programs are funded by the Cabinet for Economic Development and Council on Postsecondary Education. The funding is administered by the Kentucky Science and Technology Foundation.  

The Council on Postsecondary Education provides seed-stage capital from three funds to Kentucky researchers and companies developing a technology-based product or process. These funds include: 

  • Kentucky Enterprise Fund - makes grants and investments in small and medium-sized Kentucky companies for business development activities;
  • Kentucky Science and Engineering Funds - provides grants and investments in small companies and to researchers working with a Kentucky postsecondary institution; and
  • Research and Development Excellence Awards - supports pure research by faculty members.  

“The awards to university researchers and small businesses that the governor talked about today illustrate the linkage that exists between education and economic development,” said Robert King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education. “The universities are economic engines that produce the intellectual property and technologies that in many cases enable new companies to form and create new jobs.” 

The Cabinet for Economic Development, through its Department of Commercialization and Innovation, also funds a number of programs designed to support Kentucky’s high-tech small businesses, including: 

·        SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program - matches federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards;

·        High-Tech Pool - awards made are typically provided in the form of forgivable loans and are used to support the Commonwealth’s more developed technologies that are being commercialized; and

·        Kentucky New Energy Ventures Fund - supports the development and commercialization of alternative fuel and renewable energy products, processes, and services in the state. 

“Our broad support for high-tech companies and university research is evident in the success of the companies and researchers being recognized today,” said Larry Hayes, secretary of the Cabinet for Economic Development. “Kentucky is proud to be home to such a high-caliber group of innovators and entrepreneurs.”

More information about the award programs is available at