SBIR Road Tour.
Published on: Aug 26, 2019

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) national SBIR Road Tour is coming to Penn State's University Park campus on Sept. 19 as part of a 16-stop tour to connect entrepreneurs working on advanced technology to the country’s largest source of early-stage funding — the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Also known as America’s Seed Fund, the SBIR/STTR programs focus on next generation research and development and is led by the SBA with 11 participating federal agencies.

The tour's University Park stop will be held from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the HUB-Robeson Center. 

“Every year, we meet entrepreneurs from around the country looking to turn their big idea into another great American innovation story. We are committed to supporting America’s small businesses owners wherever they are,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “This tour reflects our continued commitment to ensuring that these innovators are aware of SBA’s resources to help them reach that goal.”

The SBIR Road Tour plays an important role in increasing engagement with entrepreneurial ecosystems across the country and building out greater networks to support the creation of small businesses focusing on high-impact research. Small technology firms, innovators, scientists or researchers seeking funding are encouraged to attend this event, which is the tour's only stop in the state of Pennsylvania.

In all, SBIR/STTR has provided more than 6,400 awards in Pennsylvania, totaling more than $2 billion. In Centre County, $111 million has been awarded to businesses. One business that has received SBIR awards from several SBIR programs is Actuated Medical, a medical device company based in Bellefonte that was honored at Invent Penn State's 2018 Venture & IP Conference

“SBIR is an incredible mechanism to move innovation from concept to commercialization,” said Actuated Medical President and CEO Maureen Mulvihill, who received her doctorate in materials from Penn State in 1996.

The University Park tour stop will be hosted by Invent Penn StatePenn State Small Business Development Center, and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central & Northern PA. Program managers from participating federal agencies will host one-on-one meetings in the morning followed by targeted panel discussions and presentations from federal and local resource partners.

To view the agenda and register for the event, visit

Participating federal agencies

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture 
  • United States Navy
  • United States Air Force
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • Missile Defense Agency
  • United States Special Operations Command 
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration 
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • National Science Foundation
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office
  • Federal Lab Consortium for Technology Transfer


The Small Business Innovation Research program is a highly competitive United States government nondilutive funding source, coordinated by the Small Business Administration. It is intended to encourage domestic small businesses to engage in high-growth research and development. Funding takes the form of contracts or grants and the awardee projects must have the potential for commercialization while meeting specific U.S. government research and development requirements. The SBIR program was created to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy. For more information about the program, visit