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I-25 Pilot Program Aims to Nurture Growth Opportunities in Technology-based Manufacturing

By Portage County Business Council

Central Wisconsin Business recently published an article on the Innovation 25 Pilot Program, which is a state-wide effort to nurture 25 technology-based manufacturers in efforts to generate high quality research and growth opportunities. As a result, these companies will be able to compete nationally in the federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards.

A contract from the U.S. Small Business Administration Federal and State Technology Partnership Program was awarded to the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network (WEN) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

What does this mean? According to Pat Dillon, I-25 project lead and WEN’s Northwest Regional Director, “The I-25 pilot program aims to strengthen and expand the pursuit of federal research funds by our manufacturing sectors in collaboration with our partners from government and academia.” The I-25 Pilot Program businesses will receive FREE individualized and customized assistance to create SBIR/STTR Phase I proposals for federal research funding. In addition, I-25 will match an industry with a university to provide research staff, grant-writers and ultimately a workforce to foster project success.

Some areas of interest include:

  • Defense
  • Life Sciences
  • Energy
  • Agriculture
  • Nanotechnology
  • Information Technology
  • Environmental
  • Education

Innovation 25 is expected to generate $1.5 – $2 million of federal SBIR/STTR funding within 18 months, and within 24 months, Innovation 25 is expected to generate $5 million in federal funding to continue the technology development and commercialization efforts.

Applications for Innovation 25 Pilot Program are being accepted through May 31st, 2011. To receive an information packet or to apply, visit the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network (WEN) website.