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). 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.

Grants

Application Grant

Provides grants of up to $3,000 to assist small businesses offset the costs associated with preparing a competitive Phase I SBIR/STTR application.

Matching Grant

Provides 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.

Internship Grant

Provides grants of up to $3,000 to assist companies offset the cost of providing internships and mentoring to RI residents attending a RI college or university.

Application Grant

Provides grants of up to $3,000 to assist small businesses offset the costs associated with preparing a competitive Phase I SBIR/STTR application.

Matching Grant

Provides 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.

Internship Grant

Provides grants of up to $3,000 to assist companies offset the cost of providing internships and mentoring to RI residents attending a RI college or university.

About Innovate RI Fund

Small businesses need capital to innovate, expand and succeed. The Innovate RI Small Business Fund provides grants to assist local entrepreneurs and high-growth start-ups defray the costs of applying for federal SBIR/STTR grants, match 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.

Small Business Administration SBIR Road Tour Stops in Rhode Island

August 22, 2018

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) SBIR Road Tour brought Program Managers from a dozen federal agencies to the Ocean State to provide our small business community with the opportunity to learn firsthand about America’s largest seed fund.  Click on the videos on the page below to hear an overview of the program, learn about grants and technical assistance available from the RI Commerce Corporation, gain insights shared by federal Program Managers into how agencies make funding decisions and listen to success stories as three Rhode Island companies describe how SBIR funding has helped them to develop new products.

Brittany Sickler, Outreach & Partnership Strategist

The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, through the RI Science & Technology Advisory Council (STAC) and the RI Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAC) assist companies interested in pursuing SBIR funding.  Hear how their programs can help your company.

Christine Smith, Managing Director of Innovation Programs

Melody Weeks, Program Manager, RI Procurement Technical Assistance Center

Hear insights shared by the Program Managers into how their agencies make funding decisions:

Melissa Wong, Department of Transportation (DOT)

Manny Oliver, Department of Energy (DOE)

J’aime Maynard, National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST)

Patricia Swayne, National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Murali Nair, National Science Foundation (NSF)

Dr. Robert Smith, Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Peter Nielsen, Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Gwen Jasper, National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)

Anthony Aldrich, Department of Defense – Special Operations Command (SOCOM)

Susan Celis, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Tony Archer, Department of Defense – Navy (DON)

Jonathan Leggett, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA)

Sloan Armstrong, Department of Defense – Missile Defense Agency (MDA)

Larry Pollock, DOD Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical & Biological Defense (JSTO-CBD)

Hear success stories from three Rhode Island companies that have won SBIR awards:

Neal Fine, CEO, Aquanis, Inc.

Kelly Mendell, President, MIKEL, Inc.

Clare King, President, Propel LLC

Small technology firms, innovators, scientists or researchers seeking more information on the SBIR program should visit: www.sbir.gov