Stories of Technology, Innovation, & Entrepreneurship in the Southeast

Knoxville Business News Tennessee Mountain Scenery Background
July 19, 2012 | Tom Ballard

SBIR/STTR series planned for mid-September

We recently posted an article – – that reported on five East Tennessee companies winning Phase I and II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants from the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The article noted that the Tennessee companies, all in either Knoxville-Oak Ridge or Johnson City, won seven of 104 awards. Considering the level of technology available in the state, this number can and should be raised. In fact, those who regularly read will note the number of times that entrepreneurs have cited the importance of SBIR or STTR awards in their path toward success.

In a continuing effort to elevate the number of SBIR and STTR awards in Tennessee, two organizations – The University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services (CIS) and the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation (TTDC) are again joining forces to encourage more companies to submit applications and help them develop winning proposals. The two organizations are supported by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Memphis BioWorks Business Association, Mind2Marketplace and Tech 20/20 in sponsoring the three-city statewide SBIR and STTR series in September.

The workshops start with registration at 8:30 a.m. local time and run from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required, and the fee is $50 including lunch. The dates and locations are:

  • September 18 – Tech 20/20, 1020 Commerce Park, Oak Ridge. (To register, visit and look for “Upcoming Classes.”)
  • September 19 – UT CIS, 193 Polk Ave., Suite C, Nashville. (To register, visit and look for “Upcoming Classes.”)
  • September 20 – Memphis BioWorks Business Asociation, 20 South Dudley, 1st Floor, Memphis. (To register, email or call her at 901/866-1436.)

In its marketing materials, CIS says that the “workshop provides a thorough introduction to the SBIR and STTR Programs for which billions of dollars are set aside each year to fund innovative small firms nationwide.” The agencies that make SBIR and STTR awards range from DOE to the U. S. Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The instructor is Mark Henry, a nationally-known expert on the $2.5 billion federal SBIR and STTR programs. As a manager/principal with several SBIR-funded firms and as a national consultant, he has been involved in planning, preparation and production of some 2,000 SBIR and STTR proposals for more than 30 years. From 1980-1997, Henry managed the government proposal effort at Bend Research, Inc., a firm that won 175 of 350 SBIR proposals submitted. Bend was one of the top SBIR firms in the nation throughout that period and was ranked first nationally for its follow-on commercialization and private-sector R&D success.

The sessions are designed for individuals and companies interested in learning about the program to determine if they are qualified to pursue SBIR/STTR funding as well as small business resource providers and individuals from academic institutions interested in working with SBIR/STTR applicants.

Additional information can be obtained from Bill Wiley with the SBIR Assistance Center at UT. His contact information is or 865/974-8464.

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