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The BCOM Office of Research & Sponsored Programs (ORSP) partnered with the NMSU Arrowhead Center to host a comprehensive workshop on SBIR/STTR programs with an emphasis on those at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program encourages small businesses to engage in research and development (R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. The program offers competitive, monetary awards that allow small businesses to explore their technological potential. According to the program’s website, “By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is simulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.”

SBIR’s sister program, the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR), offers additional funding opportunities in the federal R&D arena. This program aims to expand public/private sector partnerships between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions.

OSRP Director Joseph Benoit, Ph.D, led the efforts to bring the workshop to the medical school campus. “It’s an exciting time for us here at BCOM,” he said. “As a new college of medicine, we are working to develop and foster our own research initiatives here. Many will involve public/private type partnerships which we’re excited to learn about through the SBIR/STTR programs.”

During the four-hour program held in one of BCOM’s lecture halls, J.P. Kim, Ph.D, the NIH’s SBIR/STTR program manager, gave an in-depth overview of the programs as they pertain to potential NIH-related research endeavors. Workshop participants were also given an opportunity to participate in 20-minute one-on-one sessions with Dr. Kim.

Del Makey, a program specialist at the New Mexico Federal and State Technology (NM FAST) Partnership program walked participants step-by-step through the SBIR and STTR application processes. He covered the entire proposal package process including topic areas and compliance matrices.

“Medical education and biomedical research are becoming important economic drivers in the region,” Dr. Benoit said. “Opportunities that extend research beyond the discovery phase and into development and commercialization will yield partnerships between academia and the private sector that create new businesses in the Las Cruces area.”

To learn more BCOM research, contact Dr. Benoit (Research@BCOMNM.org). For information on SBIR/STTR programs contact the Arrowhead Park Research Center (arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu) or visit sbir.nih.gov.