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SBIRD conference to concentrate on research-funding information

Spectrum Volume 21 Issue 01 - August 27, 1998

Faculty members looking for funding for their research will find the upcoming Small Business Innovation Research and Development (SBIRD) Workshop to be of interest.
The event will be September 23-24 at the Donaldson Brown Hotel and Conference Center. The workshop begins Wednesday, Sept. 23, with a luncheon at 11:45 a.m. That day's events will also include an evening banquet to which Governor James Gilmore has been invited. The conference resumes Thursday, Sept. 24, at 7:30 a.m. at Squires Student Center and adjourns at 5 p.m.
This state-wide workshop is being held to bring federal agencies together with high-tech researchers to discuss these programs. The two-day conference will feature more than 30 presenters and 60 exhibitors, and will include an evening banquet at which awards will be presented to previous grant winners. Speakers will present on such topics as· an overview of the SBIR, STTR, and ATP programs; starting faculty-owned and operated businesses, the right way; how to develop a phase-III commercialization strategy; how to access federal laboratories; real-life experiences of how SBIR/STTR awards have helped companies; and how to expand a company's research and development activities.
Attendees will learn of opportunities in the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Commerce, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of Education.
According to Leonard Peters, vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School, "Last year, approximately $1 billion dollars in federal grants were awarded to small businesses to promote the development of leading-edge technology. In Virginia alone, $57 million was awarded. Businesses awarded such grants quite often look to faculty members at universities to provide technical expertise, and up to 60 percent of the funds awarded can be used to team with university faculty members," he said.
These awards were made by the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR) administered by the Small Business Administration, and the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Concurrent sessions will address such topics as venture capital; protecting intellectual property; business planning and market research; and understanding federal procurement regulation and auditing requirements.
The conference is co-sponsored by Virginia Tech; small, medium, and large Virginia businesses; and state and federal agencies.
All workshop events, except the lunch and banquet on Wednesday, are free to Virginia Tech faculty members; however, since seating will be limited, registration is required by September 4, by contacting Tom Caruso at 1-6771 or e-mail at tcaruso@vt.edu.
For more details, consult the preliminary program available from department heads, from Caruso or from http://www.industry. research.vt.edu.