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Electronic service gives small firms access to R&D funds

News Release

September 26, 1997 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — Access to information on more than $1 billion in annual federal research and development funds is being made easier for small businesses with a new, free e-mail/fax alerting service. The service is provided by the Economic Development Office at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Each year, 11 federal agencies set aside 2.5 percent of their annual budgets to fund competitive research and development proposals submitted by small businesses throughout the nation. The effort is known as the Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs (SBIR/STTR).

Each federal agency administers its own two-phase program to seek and review proposals as well as award up to $750,000 for individual research and development grants to hundreds of U.S. small businesses.

"When federal agencies started saving paper by electronically publishing their pre-solicitations and solicitations, I began having difficulty keeping current on the programs," said Gary Spanner, manager of Pacific Northwest's Office of Small Business Programs. "I found I had to spend hours searching the Internet several times a month to find and research topics I could pass along to clients." Staff at Pacific Northwest's Economic Development Office apply technology to help build and diversify the nation's economy.

Assuming others had the same problem, Spanner's solution was to start a free, e-mail/fax service to automatically notify businesses and program stakeholders of pending solicitations, workshops and conferences. The service also includes updates of Internet web sites containing useful SBIR/STTR information. Pacific Northwest funds the effort. Dakota State University in Madison, S.D., is assisting with Internet searches.

Currently, all subscribers receive the same information. Future enhancements to the program may include the ability to specify the topics of interest, such as transportation- or electronics-related solicitations. Other enhancements may include direct Internet links to useful web sites within the e-mail message.

Spanner said that subscribers will be surveyed annually to determine the service's usefulness.

Small businesses, individuals and organizations interested in subscribing via e-mail should send the following message to subscribe sbir-alert First Name Last Name (Example: subscribe sbir-alert Joan Smith).

Those wishing to receive alerts by fax should fax their name, organization, telephone number and fax number to (509) 372-4589.

For further information, contact Gary Spanner at (509) 372-4296, or E-mail,

Tags: Technology Transfer and Commercialization, Economic Development

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