North Carolina’s small R&D companies continued to accelerate its use of the federal SBIR and STTR funding mechanisms. Award data for 2017 was compared against that of 2015 and all metrics analyzed demonstrated healthy gains.
Most notably, total dollars awarded rose 24% to over $63 million across 95 Phase 1 awards and 52 phase 2 awards in 2017. This ranks NC in 10th place nationally, unchanged compared to 2015. For the sake of comparison, NC was ranked 20th only a decade ago. This is the largest amount of SBIR/STTR dollars that NC has secured over the 35 year life of the program. Since the program’s inception in 1983 over $970 million has been awarded to NC firms.
Also of interest is that that the number of unique awardees increased 21% over 2015 to 2017, reaching a total of 98. This is very important to in that it demonstrates the broader based of small businesses, and novel technologies, that are accessing these funds.
Analysis of dollars awarded by agency shows that NIH is the most heavily represented followed by DoD and NSF. Historically, NIH has always been the top awarding agency in North Carolina, which gives testament to the fact that NC is rich in technologies that have a healthcare / biotechnology focus. Of interest is the increased success that NC companies have experienced with DoD awards. The number of phase 1 and phase 2 awards from DoD increased 39% and 15% respectively between 2015 and 2017. We are pleased that our specialized efforts to increase the visibility of the DoD program to our clients has been successful.
2017 SBIR/STTR awards by agency
The SBTDC has worked with over 70% of these awardees in various capacities including one-on-one business counseling, SBIR/STTR proposal and commercialization plan reviews and participation in our graduate summer internship program.