Innovate RI Fund
In 2013, to foster job creation, facilitate small business development and enhance the workforce pipeline, the Rhode Island General Assembly created the Innovate Rhode Island Small Business Fund (IRISBF). Through a variety of programming supported by the Fund, eligible Rhode Island small businesses may apply for grants to defray the cost of applying for SBIR/STTR awards, match SBIR/STTR Phase I and Phase II awards and hire interns. The goals of the program are to:
- Leverage state funds to encourage and support Rhode Island entrepreneurial participation in the federal SBIR/STTR programs;
- Increase the amount of federal research dollars received by Rhode Island firms;
- Sustain companies through the early stages of product development;
- Encourage the establishment of high potential, high quality, high growth ventures in Rhode Island; and
- Enhance the talent pipeline in the life sciences and engineering fields.
View the Innovate RI Small Business Fund program overview (pdf) from the March 4th 2014 presentation for more general information.
About the Grant Programs
Grants to Defray Cost of Applying for SBIR/STTR Phase I
Matching Grants for SBIR/STTR Phase I and Phase II Recipients
The federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs represent the largest source of early-stage, high-risk technology financing in the United States. Eleven federal agencies participate in this program which provides over $2 billion for early stage research and development projects leading to commercialization of resulting products or services. The programs are designed to benefit entrepreneurs and small businesses -- while increasing the competitiveness of the U.S. economy -- by funding the development of innovative products and services. Agencies award grants to explore the technical merit of an idea or technology in response to a specific agency topical need. The IRISBF provides grants of up to $3,000 to assist small businesses offset the costs associated with preparing a competitive Phase I SBIR/STTR application and matching grants of up to $45,000 to encourage recipients of SBIR/STTR Phase I awards and up to $100,000 to recipients of Phase II awards.
Grants to Support Internships
Experiential learning opportunities such as internships provide students with a way to explore career possibilities, gain hands-on experience and meet people in their field of study. Companies benefit as well from internships which can be a critical workforce development tool. The IRISBF provides grants of up to $3,000 to assist companies in the life sciences and engineering sectors defray the cost of providing internships and mentoring to eligible Rhode Island residents attending a Rhode Island college or university.
Guidelines and required forms for each of these programs can be found at the links below. Interested companies are strongly encouraged to carefully read these Guidelines for eligibility, limitations and application periods.
How to Apply
Eligible companies wishing to apply for funding must use an online submission tool available on the STAC website. To access the tool, go to the STAC home page and click on the person icon in the shaded "Collaborate" box in the top right side of the page. You will be asked to login to the Research Directory. You must have a STAC profile to login.
- If you have a STAC profile, enter your user name and password. If you do not remember your user name or password you will be prompted by a message at the bottom of the login form on the screen with instructions on how to get your information.
- If you do not have a STAC profile, click on the words "Create a STAC profile". If you complete the information and try to submit it, but you receive an error message saying "email has already been taken" and/or "login has already been taken" -- this means a profile already exists for you. Follow the directions above for accessing your existing account.
Once you login, you will land on the "Find Grants and Funding Opportunities" page. Scroll down and select the program you are interested in submitting an application for. On this page, scroll to the bottom and click on the "Submit a Response" link. Follow the instructions for uploading and submitting your proposal.
Please note, only one submission per email is accepted through this portal. If you wish to submit more than one internship grant application, please submit the second application using a second and distinct email or send the application to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Company name_second internship application".