Iowa State can help businesses find support for research and development

AMES, Iowa -- Iowa State University can assist small Iowa companies and faculty startup businesses looking for federal grants to fund research and development work.

The Iowa State University Research Foundation is offering the service. Kristine Johansen is the new administrator of the Small Business Innovative Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

The federal programs help American-owned and independently operated for-profit companies with 500 or fewer employers. The Small Business Technology Transfer program also works with qualifying nonprofit research institutions. The programs offer startup grants of up to $100,000 and continuing awards of up to $750,000.

The grant money comes from the research and development budgets of various federal agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation.

The grants are highly competitive. About one of every eight applications wins funding.

Johansen's job is to help companies make their grants as competitive as possible. She can help with grant preparation, identify consultants or collaborators and match company projects with the research needs of federal agencies.

Johansen, who has a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Missouri in Columbia, has a track record of winning these grants. As a senior scientist for two startup biotechnology companies in Denver, she had a hand in four grants from the Small Business Innovation Research program.

Johansen's grant assistance is free to Iowa companies. And she can travel across the state to meet with company leaders.

Nita Lovejoy, the associate director of the research foundation, called the assistance "an important economic development activity for the university and for the state."