Working with the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center at Johnson & Wales University, Rep. Jim Langevin has announced an opportunity for Rhode Island’s small business community to learn about a Small Business Administration (SBA) initiative that funds innovative research and development projects.
Hosted by Langevin, the Rhode Island Innovation Forum will provide an overview of resources available through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program with featured speaker Sean Greene, the Associate Administrator for Investment and Special Advisor for Innovation, who runs SBIR nationally.
The event, scheduled for Monday, June 25, 2012, from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Johnson & Wales University’s Culinary Arts Museum, will also include presentations by Mark Hayward, Rhode Island’s SBA District Director, and Christine Smith, Director of the Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council. A question and answer session will follow.
SBIR funding is directed to research and development by small businesses working on scientific and technological advances. Currently, there are 11 federal agencies, including the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, that have SBIR programs. Over the past 4 years, Ocean State companies have received more than 50 SBIR awards worth about $20 million.
“We cannot have a full economic recovery unless we recognize that small businesses are the main driver of job creation and we ensure they have the opportunity to innovate and expand,” said Langevin. “SBIR has a proven track record of supporting successful projects and we have seen its benefits in Rhode Island; however, in conversations with business leaders in our state, it has become clear that we can take better advantage of this program to grow businesses and generate more economic activity. The Rhode Island Innovation Forum is one step toward this goal.”