Saturday, July 13, 2024

Louisiana Extends Innovation Retention Grant Program to Bolster Small Business Growth

by BIZ Magazine

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana Economic Development (LED) has announced a second round of federal funding for its Louisiana Innovation Retention Grant (IRG) program, aimed at supporting research-focused start-ups within the state. The program offers financial assistance to recipients of federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants, encouraging them to remain rooted in Louisiana.

The IRG program provides awards of up to $100,000 for eligible businesses, with applications being accepted from June 1 through June 30, 2024.

Economic development in Louisiana is as much about supporting existing businesses as it is about attracting new businesses here,” said LED Secretary Susan B. Bourgeois. “The Innovation Retention Grant program helps to ensure that start-ups made in Louisiana, stay in Louisiana.”

Goals of the IRG Program

Established by the Louisiana Legislature, the IRG program aims to:

  • Support and Retain STEM Start-ups: Ensuring that technology and research-focused start-ups, along with their skilled workforce, remain in Louisiana.
  • Supplement Federal Research Funding: Demonstrating the state’s commitment to business innovation by adding state funds to federal SBIR/STTR grants received by Louisiana small businesses.
  • Boost Phase I Investment: Increasing investment in research conducted during Phase I of the federal SBIR program, making Louisiana businesses more competitive for subsequent Phase II funds.
  • Promote Local Tech Business Growth: Encouraging the establishment and expansion of high-quality, locally owned, and operated technology businesses throughout the state.

Eligibility and Application Details

To qualify for the IRG program, applicants must be for-profit, privately owned businesses based in Louisiana that have received federal notice of a Phase I or Phase II SBIR/STTR award after June 15, 2022. Grants are distributed in two equal amounts over a two-year period.

Interested businesses can access detailed program information, FAQs, and a downloadable application on the LED’s website at OpportunityLouisiana.gov/incentive/louisiana-innovation-retention-program.

About Louisiana Economic Development

Louisiana Economic Development is dedicated to enhancing the state’s business environment and fostering a vibrant economy. In 2023, LED attracted more than $25 billion in capital investments, creating the potential for 19,000 new and retained jobs. Through various initiatives, LED continues to cultivate job opportunities and economic growth for the people of Louisiana and employers of all sizes. For more information, visit OpportunityLouisiana.com.

Conclusion

The extension of the Louisiana Innovation Retention Grant program marks a significant step in supporting the state’s burgeoning start-up ecosystem. By providing financial assistance to research-focused small businesses, Louisiana reaffirms its commitment to fostering innovation, retaining talent, and ensuring the continued growth and competitiveness of its local technology sector.

For further details and to apply for the grant, eligible businesses are encouraged to visit OpportunityLouisiana.gov.

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