MoCo Council provides $425,000 for Nation’s First SBIR/STTR Matching Funds Program
By: Jordan Silverman
The Montgomery County Council approved their FY19 operating budget this past Thursday, May 24, 2018. Included in the budget was $425,000 for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) / Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Matching Grant Program. The program provides matching fund for businesses that receive federal SBIR and/or STTR grants through the National Institutes of Health.
While several similar programs are currently in place at the state level, this makes Montgomery County the first local jurisdiction in the nation to enact and fund a SBIR/STTR matching fund. The idea to create such a program statewide in Maryland has been floated in Annapolis as recently as 2016 by Senator Brian Feldman (D-15), though the concept did not receive a committee vote.
Sponsored by Councilmember George Leventhal, Bill 41-17, Economic Development Fund – Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Matching Grant Program establishes a County matching grant for County-based small businesses that receive either a Phase I or Phase II grant under either the SBIR or the STTR from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). County grant awards will be provided up to 25% of a Phase I grant with a cap of $25,000, or 25% of a Phase II grant up to $75,000, subject to appropriations. A grantee may receive one County matching grant each year and a total of five County matching grants under this program. The bill was amended to include a 7-year sunset provision, meaning that this would get revisited as a program in 7 years’ time. The bill passed the Council unanimously in March 2018 with all other Councilmembers serving as cosponsors.
The goal of this program is to encourage small biotech businesses that receive federal SBIR/STTR grants to locate and expand in the County.
SSGovRelations Founder & CEO, Steve Silverman, represented a coalition of local biotech companies in advocating for the creation and funding of this innovative economic development program.
The funds will be available to the SBIR/STTR Matching Grants Program on July 1, 2018 and will be administered through the Montgomery County Department of Finance on a first-come-first serve basis. (SSGovRelations)