Cabinet for Economic Development
Governor Beshear Announces SBIR-STTR Grants for Kentucky High-Tech Small Businesses

Press Release Date:  Monday, January 25, 2010  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  

Nine Kentucky firms share $2.2 million state funds to match federal awards                                               

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 25, 2010) – Gov. Steve Beshear today announced that nine Kentucky high-tech companies will share nearly $2.2 million in state funds as part of a Kentucky initiative to attract and support technology-based small businesses.  Through the state’s competitive SBIR-STTR Matching Funds program, Kentucky matches federal SBIR-STTR awards received by Kentucky companies or those willing to relocate to Kentucky. This round of state awards supplements more than $6 million in federal funding made to the firms. 

The state matching funds were awarded to businesses that received grants in Phase 1 or Phase 2 of the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Kentucky is the first and only state to match both phases of the federal program: up to $100,000 for Phase 1 federal awards and up to $500,000 per year (for up to two years) for Phase 2 federal awards. To date, the state’s unique SBIR-STTR matching program has made a total of 80 awards to 46 Kentucky companies for a combined $17.7 million and helped bring eight new high-tech businesses to the Commonwealth to benefit from the matching funds. 

“Last year at the 2009 BIO International tradeshow that I attended in Atlanta, people were standing in line outside the Kentucky Pavilion to ask about our SBIR-STTR matching funds,” said Gov. Beshear. “This is just another example of how our state programs and expanding statewide research and development efforts are dramatically enhancing Kentucky’s image throughout the global science community.” 

The nine Kentucky companies receiving matching funds specialize in areas as diverse as human health and development, energy, nanotechnology, bioscience, materials science and advanced manufacturing. 

Company descriptions: 

Four Tigers, near Paris, is developing blackberry-based cosmetics, dietary supplements, food and medical products that offer the fruit’s potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.   

NaugaNeedles, of Louisville, produces nano-scale probes and electrodes for use in mechanical, electrical, and electrochemical sensing and manipulation at cellular and molecular levels.   

SCR, of Louisville, is developing a long-term implantable counterpulsation medical device to treat heart failure patients who may be responsive to a moderate level of cardiac assistance.  

Topasol, of Lexington, produces nanoparticles for use in new coatings and composites for sensors, biocides, mar-resistant materials, optical devices, solar cells and colorings.  

Transposagen, of Lexington, uses mobile DNA technology (transposons) to develop genetically modified laboratory rats that can mimic human diseases and be used for medical research.  

ApoImmune, of Louisville, is developing vaccines to treat cancer and prevent infectious diseases, as well as therapies to improve patient tolerance to transplanted organs and cells.  

NuForm Materials, near Georgetown, makes ceramic materials for use in automotive and aerospace composites that can help lower cost and improve performance and fuel efficiency.  

PGxl Laboratories, of Louisville, is studying how genetics affect the way patients react to medicines to help physicians select drugs and adjust dosages to avoid adverse drug reactions.  

3H Company, of Lexington, is focusing on clean coal technology and testing its carbon sequestration technology designed to capture and store carbon dioxide underground.  

The Cabinet for Economic Development, through its Department of Commercialization and Innovation (DCI), manages the Kentucky SBIR-STTR Matching Funds program, which is administered under contract by the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC).  

“The matching awards help these companies to continue and expand their research efforts, often in ways the federal awards do not,” said DCI Commissioner Deborah Clayton. “For example, the state funds can be used to pay for patent fees, marketing expenses, and business plan preparation, unlike the federal SBIR-STTR funds that have more restrictions on how they can be used.” 

Applications for each round of the program are accepted by KSTC on a regular basis. A link to the online guidelines and application form for the Kentucky program are posted at