The University of Tennessee at Martin’s Regional Entrepreneurial and Economic Development (REED) Center is one of three entities to be awarded a grant through the Small Business Administration’s inaugural Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Catalyst competition. The UT Martin REED Center joined the Southern Illinois Research Park at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and the Murray State University Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Development (CEED) in applying for the $150,000 award.
As the lead applicant, the SIU Southern Illinois Research Park Corporation will split the award with UT Martin and Murray State to develop a sustainable rural partnership network and a research and development ecosystem in the north delta region.
The partnership of the three centers will focus on increasing awareness of SBIR opportunities, connecting business and industry owners with university researchers, and enhancing the success of SBIR proposals submitted by underrepresented, rural small businesses.
The project will also target STEM technology and innovation and will work to bring awareness and networks, resources and support to rural entrepreneurs for commercialization through training, workshops and other assistance. The project will also connect entrepreneurs with university researchers, industry partners and government funding sources and expertise.
This collaborative partnership was generated through the recent establishment of the North Delta Economic Alliance. This alliance of Delta Leadership Network partners in the northern area of the Delta Regional Authority footprint are working to establish regional sustainability in economic and academic growth.
“We are so thankful for the inclusion of our center by SIU and Murray State in this partnership to bring more awareness of the SBIR opportunities in our rural communities.”
“Participation in the Delta Regional Authority’s Leadership Institute ultimately resulted in collaboration of the UT Martin, SIU and Murray State supported entrepreneurial centers. Through bi-weekly discussions of the recently formed North Delta Economic Alliance, it became apparent each of our rural centers are experiencing similar circumstances related to entrepreneurial growth and economic development,” said Landy Fuqua, director of UT Martin’s REED Center. “We are so thankful for the inclusion of our center by SIU and Murray State in this partnership to bring more awareness of the SBIR opportunities in our rural communities.”
The REED Center, home to the Tennessee Small Business Development Center (TSBDC), was established to meet the needs of existing and potential business owners through one-on-one consultations and interactive training programs. The center serves as a hub of information for prospective entrepreneurs and owners of existing small businesses who need individual consultant services, group training services and associated technical resources.
For more information, contact Landy Fuqua at 731-587-7333 or email email@example.com.