Federal and State Technology Partnership (FAST) Program is a competitive grants program administered by the SBA and designed to strengthen the technological competitiveness of small businesses. It improves the participation of small technology firms in the innovation and commercialization of new technology, thereby helping keep the United States on the cutting edge of research and development in science and technology. All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and the American Samoa may receive funding for an array of services (e.g., outreach and technical assistance) in support of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
FAST currently provides $3 million in total funding (up to $125,000 per general applicant; up to $200,000 for SBTDCs) for outreach and technical assistance to science and technology-driven small businesses. The program places particular emphasis on helping socially and economically disadvantaged firms compete in the SBIR and STTR programs.
Eligible applicants for FAST funding include state and local economic development agencies, Small Business Development Centers, and colleges and universities. Only one proposal is allowed per state, with an accompanying letter from a state’s governor or equivalent.
FAST funding applicants are encouraged to show how they will help support areas such as:
- Small business research and development assistance
- Technology transfer from universities to small businesses
- Technological diffusion of innovation benefiting small businesses
- Proposal development and mentoring for small businesses applying for SBIR grants
- Commercialization of technology developed through SBIR grants
Proposals will be evaluated by review panels; the SBA, the Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation will jointly review the recommendations from the panels and will make awards based on proposal merit. Varying levels of matching funds are required from each participating state and territory.
FAST Partnership Awards
Funding Opportunity Announcements
Congress sought to reduce the variation within state technology programs that foster economic development among small high-technology firms. In response, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2001, codified at 15 U.S.C. §657d(c), established the FAST program. The program expired on September 30, 2005 and was reestablished under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010.