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Utah companies can gain access to the $2.5B federal SBIR program through the USTAR SBIR Center

Small businesses that need funding to research and develop technology should look into the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. Known as the largest seed fund in the United States, the highly competitive program funds to the tune of $2.5 billion in non-equity positioned funding annually through 11 federal agencies.

Fortunately for Utah companies, the USTAR SBIR Center is a statewide resource that offers valuable assistance to navigate the application process, and has been successful in bringing over $30 million to support technology development in the state. These funds do not need to be paid back and take no equity position with the companies.

Celebrating its 10th year as a state resource, the USTAR SBIR Center is available to all Utah small businesses who need research and development dollars to advance their technology. Most of the services are free, including consultations, guidance on the application process, finding topics, talking to program managers, and review and editing of documents. The Center also significantly increases your chances of being funded, with nearly twice the national win rate.

Cristian Atria, CEO of nView medical in Salt Lake City, an early stage start-up company focused on bringing the next generation of image guidance products to market, has worked with the SBIR Center over the last several years and has won SBIR grants from the National Science Foundation.

“Every grant application that we do, we always work with USTAR’s SBIR Center. They review our application and give us critical feedback. That way we increase our chances to get funded,” said Atria, who noted that working with the USTAR SBIR Center significantly increases a company’s chance at winning SBIR funding.

Mary Cardon, USTAR SBIR Center Director, helped launch the Center, and knows first-hand the time and effort it takes to produce a winning proposal.  She and her team remain current on changes to the program and how it is administered in each of the 11 federal agencies.

“Bringing deep technology to market is a herculean task,” said Cardon. “The SBIR Center is privileged to help Utah companies with our strong assistance to win these highly competitive grants, creating a pathway for success of the company, and also shining a light on Utah as a leader in cutting edge innovation.”

The Center offers free, one hour long “SBIR 101” seminars monthly, allowing companies to evaluate the program and decide if it’s a good fit for them.  “SBIR 101” is also offered as a video on the USTAR website.

Find out more about Utah’s SBIR Center at or email for more information on upcoming trainings or to set an appointment for a consultation.

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