MORGANTOWN, W.Va., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Researchers and technologists from the nation's small, high-tech, innovative businesses will gather in Morgantown for the 2009 Mid-Atlantic SBIR/STTR Conference from November 30 through December 2. The event marks the first time West Virginia has played host to a conference focusing on the two nationally competitive U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) programs -- Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR).
The SBIR and STTR programs award more than $2.5 billion to small high-tech businesses. The SBIR program has participation by 11 federal agencies, while five federal agencies participate in the STTR program. The conference is officially hosted by the INNOVA Commercialization Group, an initiative of the West Virginia High Technology Consortium (WVHTC) Foundation, and the West Virginia Development Office.
"We are excited to be hosting the first SBIR/STTR conference to be held in West Virginia," said Guy Peduto, Director of INNOVA. "Participants from several states will take part in this conference, which will see presentations by and interaction with federal agencies, collaboration by attendees and opportunities to match people with resources to obtain federal research and tech transfer dollars."
The purpose of the 2009 Mid-Atlantic SBIR/STTR Conference is to bring together key technology and acquisition personnel from government and industry to enable the transition of SBIR- and STTR-funded research and development into products for government and private sector commercial markets.
West Virginia Department of Commerce Cabinet Secretary Kelley Goes, who oversees the West Virginia Development Office, said the two programs and the conference represent opportunities for this and other states.
"Today's high-tech entrepreneurs must innovate and commercialize to compete globally. This is a pivotal moment for the state to host the SBIR/STTR conference and nurture our high-tech businesses," said Goes.
"West Virginia's 'Bucks for Brains' program helps university research programs hire national talent and was a first step to fostering technology-based economic development. Other ingredients include technology transfer, demonstrations and venture capital that lead to new products, companies and jobs. That's where SBIR and STTR come in.
"These will be new jobs and good jobs for West Virginia and our region. This investment diversifies the economy, while nourishing the current industry base with innovation," Goes said.
Event organizers said that information on the Mid-Atlantic SBIR/STTR Conference is available on the conference web site athttp://www.midatlanticsbir.com. The web site will be regularly updated as more information on the conference becomes available.
Several states have indicated strong interest in attending the conference, and a number of federal agencies have already confirmed participation in the form of providing SBIR program managers to speak about their respective programs.
"We are extremely happy with the feedback we have received from federal agencies and from SBIR contacts in a number of states," said Peduto. "We are putting together a strong agenda that will blend federal agency expertise and experience with valuable information from experts."
The INNOVA Commercialization Group, an initiative of the WVHTC Foundation, is a statewide commercialization effort designed to advance economic growth by increasing the number of new products introduced into the marketplace by West Virginia innovators. INNOVA drives this economic advancement by delivering high-quality entrepreneurial education programs, professional technical assistance and seed investment capital to regional businesses.
The WVHTC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Fairmont, W.Va., functioning as an engine of economic change for growing a statewide and regional high-tech business sector. The Foundation has established a multi-faceted approach to maximize economic growth, including emphasis on business infrastructure, research and development, and commercialization and workforce development.
The West Virginia Department of Commerce is the cornerstone of economic development for West Virginia, and through the West Virginia Development Office it serves companies from small entrepreneurs to global corporations. Commerce focuses on attracting and expanding business opportunities in the Mountain State, with a goal of creating good-paying jobs with benefits for the state's citizens.
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|SOURCE West Virginia High Technology Consortium Foundation|
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