Original Date: 01/23/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Small Business Initiative
As a world class leader in hundreds of scientific and technological fields, Sandia provides a national resource for transferring technology to small business. Along with DOE's other national labs and two production agencies, over $9M are allocated annually to provide technical assistance and other services to small business. This initiative is designed to provide technical referrals and assistance in a timely and efficient manner. Sandia maintains excellence and high standards by focusing assistance only in its core competencies. Needs falling outside core competency areas are referred to other Department of Energy facilities and federal programs.
The small business initiative at Sandia is a relatively new and small program but has produced impressive results. Several types of technology transfer mechanisms are used. These include technical assistance, partnership agreements, user facilities, relationships with intermediaries, and personnel exchange and range in value from $5K to $50K. All funds for this program are expended internally. There is no direct financial assistance to client companies. The program is national in scope and has provided assistance to small businesses throughout the country. Technical assistance has been provided to small firms in materials and processes, electronics testing, energy and environment, nuclear security, systems reliability, and systems engineering. Nearly 35 CRADAs have been executed in fields of manufacturing, microelectronics, materials, computing, and energy and environment. User facilities were made more accessible to small businesses by eliminating many of the high security requirements that were in place.
In its short implementation period, this initiative produced many success stories. Sandia helped one small business to engineer a non-invasive optical technology that makes cervical cancer diagnosis easier and quicker. A small, woman-owned business was assisted in developing a mobile, environmentally-safe agricultural growth chamber that greatly reduced costs and increased production for farmers, cattle producers, and health food suppliers. It is being made available to third world countries needing food production technology. On average, two new jobs and $67,000 of economic impact value resulted from each technical assistance case in FY94.
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