University of South Carolina Receives Federal Grant to Boost Innovation

u s small business administration




Release Date: August 11, 2021





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SBA Awards Grants to 6 Organizations in the Southeastern Region to Help Underserved Communities Succeed

The awards will provide specialized training, mentoring and technical assistant for Southeastern entrepreneurs

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Small Business Administration issued grant awards up to $125,000 each to 6 organizations in the Southeastern Region of the United States for specialized training, mentoring, and technical assistance for research and development (R&D)-focused small businesses under the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program

“We are honored to continue the work with the University of South Carolina to help advance the innovative and forward-thinking small businesses of South Carolina. To invest in research and development and technology for entrepreneurs is a true investment in the success of South Carolina’s future. SBA is honored to be a part of this important process, says Richard (Gregg) White, SBA South Carolina District Office.”

“As President Biden often says, great ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. Supporting all our nation’s innovative startups and increasing equitable access to federal research funding is a priority for the SBA, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it will build a stronger future for all of us,” said SBA Administrator Isabella Guzman.

FAST seeks to improve outcomes in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs for underserved communities by increasing participation from women-owned, rural-based, and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.   

Southeastern recipients this year include state and local economic development organizations, accelerators, and colleges, and universities.  All awardees will provide support to small businesses developing advanced technologies. 

“The University of South Carolina Office of Innovation, Partnerships, and Economic Engagement is proud to continue the partnership with U. S. Small Business Administration through the FAST grant which will continue to benefit small businesses across the State of South Carolina as they pursue SBIR/STTR grant opportunities," says Chad Hardaway, Director, University of South Carolina’s Technology Commercialization Office. "This FAST grant compliments the South Carolina Department of Commerce 3Phase Program, which has a statewide reach and focus and has provided at least $10 Million of SBIR/STTR funding to South Carolina based businesses.  SCRA/SCLaunch is also a value adding partner to this SBIR/STTR ecosystem through their SBIR/STTR Phase 1 matching program for the state of South Carolina.  All of these SBIR/STTR assistance and funding opportunities makes South Carolina the state of choice for SBIR/STTR company Development.”


The FAST grantees in the Southeastern Region are as follows: 

Awardees – 2022 Cohort – Base Year




Innovation Gateway at the University of Georgia


Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation


  Launch TN


Awardees – 2021 Cohort – Second Year




Innovate Mississippi

North Carolina

First Flight Venture Center, Inc.

South Carolina

University of South Carolina








About FAST

In FY 2021, $4 million total was appropriated as grants for entities to carry out targeted activities from September 30, 2021 through September 29, 2022.  Entities from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands are eligible to receive funding to provide outreach, technical, and financial assistance in support of the SBIR/STTR programs. Additional information can be found at



SBA coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs, also known as America’s Seed Fund. In FY 2021, eleven participating federal agencies will provide more than $4 billion in early-stage seed capital through over 7,000 awards to small businesses. Federal agencies announce funding opportunities as either grants or contracts to address their research and development needs. Companies supported by the SBIR/STTR programs often generate some of the most important breakthroughs each year in the U.S.  Additional information about the programs, as well as past and current topics can be found at

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit