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Arrowhead Center at NMSU got a FAST Federal grant to:

NM FAST, which is entering its third year of funding, will use the $125,000 award to provide free proposal development assistance to small businesses across New Mexico that are pursuing Small Business Innovation and Small Business Technology Transfer funding. 

I guess one needs grant support to help organizations with grant support.

The SBIR/STTR programs are administered by the SBA, and collectively support more than $2.5 billion in federal research and development funding to small businesses every year. Federal agencies with R&D budgets that exceed $100 million must allocate 3.2 percent of their R&D budget to support these programs – 11 agencies currently participate. 

It’s hard to grasp exactly what this program and grant money do…perhaps a few too many acronyms are involved. One hopes these programs are effective despite confusing descriptions…because sometimes programs that help small business navigate bureaucracies can make all the difference in getting started successfully.

For one example we know about directly: PSA got some small business assistance from a Small Business Incubator offshoot of DACC when preparing our non-profit IRS 501c3 charter and application. It wasn’t a huge amount of support, but it was a difference maker in PSA getting off the ground. 

The NM FAST Partnership Program provides small businesses with:

– Assistance in identifying appropriate solicitations and topic areas;

– How-to information on agency registrations and electronic proposal submission;

– Guidance on proposal preparation, including assessments of technical objectives and hypotheses and drafting supporting documents such as biographical sketches, resources and budgets;

– Specifics on the target agency’s requirements for commercialization content in Phase I/Phase II proposals; and

– Technical reviews and edits of proposals with feedback.

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