Workshop gives companies tips on government grants

The Environmental Protection Agency, CincyTech and Dayton Development Coalition are teaming up to host a workshop to inform small businesses how to apply and obtain Small Business Innovation Research grants. 
The SBIR is a government-wide organization, coordinated by the Small Business Administration, that has more than $2 billion in funds to assist small business to stimulate innovation and increase small businesses in federal research and development through the SBIR grants. 
The SBIR grants come in two phases. The first phase is the Proof of Concept, which gives companies $80,000 to prove the feasibility of their approach or concept over a six-month period. Successful phase one companies can then apply for phase two grants, which are grants of up to $300,000 for up to two years. Phase two looks to continue research and development and ultimately, commercialization of the environmental technology. 
The workshop will be held March 26 and is geared toward businesses that are creating environmental technologies that address high-priority EPA needs. Those needs range from water to green building, to waste monitoring. A new area being added this year is a Sensor App for air pollution control, which could come in the form of an app that can monitor air quality and send data back to be studied. 
The workshop gives companies the opportunity to discuss their proposals and improve their chances of obtaining SBIR grants. Companies will also learn from the review process and past vendor experiences. Last year, the EPA's SBIR gave out 25 grants to a pool of more than 400 applications -- three were to companies in Greater Cincinnati, all of which attended the workshop. 
"This is a huge opportunity for small businesses," says April Richards, program manager of the EPA's SBIR program. "It's a fairly complicated application process, and this workshop can help people not make silly mistakes." 
Applications for grants open after March 15 and typically close around two months after. The applications are normally accepted once each year. 

More information on the workshop can be found here.
By Evan Wallis
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