National conference on research grants set in Sparks

Small high-technology companies from across the United States will learn how to tap into $2.3 million in federal funding for research and development during a conference in Sparks later this year.

Sam Males, executive director of the Nevada Small Business Development Center, said last week that Nevada will host the 2009 National Small Business Innovation Research and the Small Business Technology Transfer Conference.

Organizers expect between 400 and 850 people will attend the event Nov. 2-5 at John Ascuaga's Nugget.

Representatives of 11 federal agencies with big R&D budgets including money set aside for small businesses will be in attendance.

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants come in two phases.

In the first phase, up to $100,000 is available for six-month feasibility research effort. In the second phase, a company develops a prototype.

Fritz Grupe, a Nevada Small Business Development Center staff member who is coordinating the conference, says it will include workshops and conference sessions for participants to learn how to win grants and federal contracts.

Also scheduled will be exhibits and one-on-one sessions with representatives of federal programs.

"This conference is a great opportunity to showcase Nevada as a state to do business in, as well as

innovative companies in Nevada that exhibit or sponsor the conference," said Males.

Participating federal agencies will include the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health & Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, the

Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.

For more information about the conference, visit


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