Alabama Innovation Corporation

Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program Application

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Alabama Innovation Corporation Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program Guidelines

I. PURPOSE

The Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program (the “Alabama Supplemental Grant Program”), a program operated by the Alabama Innovation Corporation (the “Innovation Corporation”), is designed to award funds to for-profit, Alabama-based companies that have been granted Federal Small Business Innovation Research Program or Federal Small Business Technology Transfer Program (the “Federal SBIR/STTR Program”) Phase I or Phase II awards. The Federal SBIR/STTR Program encourages innovative small businesses to engage in research that has the potential for technological innovation and commercialization.

Through awarding funds, the Alabama Supplemental Program will stimulate research and commercialization and will grow the Alabama economy by leveraging investment, creating exportable products and services, and creating and retaining high-wage jobs in both moderately and highly skilled occupations. By offering an award program, Alabama businesses will be encouraged to apply for the Federal SBIR/STTR Program and to realize the economic benefits of commercialized research.

II. GOALS

A. Increase the number and types of applications for the Federal SBIR/STTR Program submitted by Alabama-based small businesses conducting research and technology development.

B. Help Alabama companies bridge the funding gap period between the final Phase I payment and the first Phase II payment in the Federal SBIR/STTR Program.

C. Encourage the establishment and growth of high-quality companies committed to the overall economic development of Alabama and to supporting entrepreneurship and innovation across the State.

D. Encourage the establishment of high-wage jobs in Alabama in both moderately and highly skilled occupations.

E. Increase the commercial success of Alabama SBIR/STTR projects.

III. AVAILABLE FUNDS

A. Phase I Awards

The Innovation Corporation may grant available funds to applicants that received funding under Phase 1 of the Federal SBIR/STTR Program in amounts not to exceed the lesser of either:

i. 50% of the award made to the applicant under Phase I of the Federal SBIR/STTR
Program; or

ii. $100,000.00.

B. Phase II Awards

The Innovation Corporation may grant available funds to applicants that received funding under Phase II of the Federal SBIR/STTR Program in amounts not to exceed the lesser of either:

i. 50% of the award made to the applicant under Phase II of the Federal SBIR/STTR Program; or

ii. $250,000.00.

C. Total Award Funds Per Applicant

No applicant (including any other applicant that is “commonly owned” with such applicant) may receive more than $350,000.00 under the Alabama Supplemental Grant Program in any three (3) year period. For purposes of this Section III.C., applicants are “commonly owned” if they are at least 51% owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the same person or entity.

IV. ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

A. The applicant must meet all requirements under the Federal SBIR/STTR Program at the time of their application for the Alabama Supplemental Grant Program. 

See https://www.sbir.gov/about for more information about Federal SBIR/STTR Program eligibility requirements.

B. The applicant must meet the following requirements sat the time of their application for the Alabama Supplemental Grant Program and for five years after any award is made under such program:

i. The applicant must have its primary place of business in Alabama;

ii. One of the applicant’s top executives must live in Alabama as their place of residence;

iii. At least 75 percent of the applicant’s employees must live in Alabama as their place of residence; and

iv. The applicant must be a participant in the E-Verify program.

C. Generally, the applicant must have been awarded a Phase I or Phase II award under the Federal SBIR/STTR Program that is active at the time of the application. However, as a part of implementing this Alabama Supplemental Grant Program, any applicant who was awarded Phase I or Phase II funding under the Federal SBIR/STTR Program that was active as of July 1, 2021, or thereafter, is eligible to apply at this time.

V. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

As provided in the legislation funding these supplemental awards, preference may be given to applicants receiving grant funding and who are, or propose to conduct funded research with:

i. HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology;

ii. Southern Research Institute;

iii. Public or nonprofit colleges or universities, community colleges, or any other entity located in Alabama that is described in 15 U.S.C. § 638(e)(8); or

iv. Historically Black Colleges and Universities in Alabama. 

Preference may also be given to underrepresented companies (as defined by Alabama Code §40-18-376.4(c)).

VI. APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS AND AWARD PROCESS

A. The applicant must attach the following documents to its application for the Alabama Supplemental Grant Program, if doing so would not be inconsistent with the restrictions placed by the awarding federal agency:

i. Notice of Award or Selection Decision Letter from the granting federal agency;

ii. The application resulting in the federal SBIR/STTR award; and

iii. Applicant’s Articles of Incorporation or Certificate of Formation.

We understand that some awards are made with restrictions against public disclosure and that some work may be, for example, subject to export restrictions.

B. The applicant must include the following documents which are either supported in the underlying SBIR/STTR application or prepared for this application for the Alabama Supplemental Grant Program. These documents should support the new work to be done if the supplemental funding is allowed. Again, to the extent that the awarding federal agency places restrictions on public disclosure, then you should state that in your application. In that case, provide that amount of information in the following format to justify the award of supplemental funding. We recognize that in some cases a more limited scope of information will be necessary, but it should nonetheless be sufficient for the reviewers of the supplemental funding to make an informed decision.

i. Project summary;

ii. Project description, including milestones and a statement of how Alabama’s
economic development will be advanced through an award of funds;

iii. Project budget;

iv. Budget justification; and

v. Other supplementary documents including:

(a) Payment schedule and project milestone chart;

(b) Commercialization plan (including Key Personnel and any changes that have
occurred or are anticipated);

(c) Company commercialization history; and

(d) Phase I technical report (Required for Phase II applicants only).

C. The Board of Directors of the Innovation Corporation (the “Board”) will consider each application on a rolling basis and will periodically notify applicants of its decision to award or not award funds. As provided in the underlying legislation funding these supplemental awards, the Board may choose to place particular focus on applications that reflect the diversity of gender, race, and geographical areas of the state. The Board has full discretion to grant or deny any award.

D. The Board may choose to delegate its decision-making power to certain Board members or third-party contractors. The Board will institute a conflict of interest policy to ensure fairness and transparency. If there is a conflict of which you are aware (see application), then you must disclose it. This will not disqualify you from applying, or potentially receiving supplemental funding, but rather enable the Board or its designated reviewers to avoid the conflict by other means. 

E. The amount and all terms and conditions of the award must be memorialized in a grant agreement between the Innovation Corporation and the applicant (the “Grant Agreement”), which shall be provided by the Board. The Grant Agreement shall provide for the return of grant funds if the applicant does not comply with these guidelines, or if the applicant should repeatedly fail to file reports demonstrating such compliance.

F. All documents submitted to the Innovation Corporation become the property of the Innovation Corporation. The applicant should not disclose to the Innovation Corporation any confidential or proprietary information that would adversely affect its intellectual property rights. Any such information that may appear in the underlying application to the federal agency should be redacted before applying for supplemental funding in this program. The Innovation Corporation and its members will not be bound by any requirements or expectations of confidentiality as a part of administering the Alabama Supplemental Grant Program.

VII. DISBURSEMENT OF AWARDS

A. The Board will determine the means by which awards will be disbursed and may require reporting and proof of expenditures before making an award. The Board may impose conditions on the payment of awards at any time before such a payment is made. And, in some cases, such as clearly defined phases of research, funding may be provided in tranches. Five (5) percent of the total award may be withheld until a final report is provided. See below.

B. Awards should be utilized to advance the applicant’s research and commercialization efforts. As provided in the enabling legislation, funds cannot be used to recoup a personal investment or pay off debt. Eligible costs include, but are not limited to, costs incurred after July 1, 2021, for additional technical work, product testing and validation, intellectual property protection, market research, patent search, business plan development, hiring of new high-paying technical and business employees, and other costs including rent, accounting, and purchase of equipment.

C. Legal fees related to any eligible cost should not exceed 10% of the awarded funds. Funds may not be used for international travel. Charges for indirect cost or F&A are capped at 15%. If there are elements of funding not allowed in the underlying award, but which the applicant deems critical to its research or commercialization efforts, the applicant may request funding, but must clearly indicate in the request that these are not otherwise allowable and justify the request.

VIII. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

An Alabama Supplemental Grant Program award recipient will be required to submit semi-annual reports to the Board until all expenditures of the awarded funds have been reported, and a final report providing a comprehensive overview of the work performed. To the extent that the federal agency making the underlying award places restrictions on public disclosures of the documents below or the information requested, the applicant should strive to provide all of the information that can be disclosed in a similar format to ensure that the work funded is on track and you are in compliance with the underlying award from the federal agency.

A. Semi-Annual Reports

An Alabama Supplemental Grant Program award recipient will be required to submit semi-annual reports to the Board until all expenditures of the awarded funds have been reported, and a final report providing a comprehensive overview of the work performed. To the extent that the federal agency making the underlying award places restrictions on public disclosures of the documents below or the information requested, the applicant should strive to provide all of the information that can be disclosed in a similar format to ensure that the work funded is on track and you are in compliance with the underlying award from the federal agency.

A. Semi-Annual Reports

An applicant awarded funds under the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program must complete and submit to the Board semi-annual reports (e.g., 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, etc.) after a supplemental award has been made until the end of the supplemental project period at which time a Final Report will be due. The report should include a short summary indicating the progress that has been made, including, but not limited to:

i. Total award funds used under the Federal SBIR/STTR Program;

ii. Total award funds used under the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program;

iii. Capital raised from all sources;

iv. Revenue, if any;

v. Number of jobs created and retained in Alabama and elsewhere;

vi. Number of commercialized products;

vii. Number of patent applications submitted; and

viii.Number of patents issued.

B. Final Report

Within 6 months after the end of the supplemental project period, an applicant receiving funds under the Alabama Supplemental Grant Program must complete and submit to the Board a final report describing specific results of work funded, documenting expenditures made with the Alabama Supplemental Grant Program funds, and forecasting next steps. All of the items required in semi-annual reports should be provided, including any Technical Report provided to the underlying federal agency. 

As provided above, the Board may withhold five (5) percent of the supplemental funding awarded until a final report is provided.

IX. Audit Oversight

The applicant shall maintain records to document its expenditures of the funds for a minimum of five years after the date of the award. All such records and accounts shall be made available on reasonable demand to the Innovation Corporation.

X. Additional Information

If you have questions about the Alabama Supplemental Grant Program, please email at info@innovatealabama.org or visit the Innovation Corporation’s website at www.innovatealabama.org.

Read the Guidelines before completing this application.


All documents submitted to the Innovation Corporation become the property of the Innovation Corporation. The applicant should not disclose to the Innovation Corporation any information that would negatively affect its ownership of intellectual property, or information that would be beneficial to its competitors. The Innovation Corporation and its members will not be bound by any requirements or expectations of confidentiality as a part of administering the Alabama Supplemental Grant Program. 


The Board recognizes that certain federal agencies may place restrictions on public disclosure in some cases. Review the guidelines on what information and documents you should provide in those situations and modify, if necessary, the documents and information requested below. In all cases, the applicant should be providing information adequate to justify the need for a supplemental award to advance the technology funded by the underlying award made by the federal agency.

Please complete this application in its entirety. If a section is not applicable to your company, please insert “N/A” in the box. In addition to completing this application, applicants must include the following attachments:




Section 1 – General Information










Section 2 – Federal SBIR/STTR Award Information









Section 3 – Project Information

This section requires applicants to submit items previously requested in the underlying application by federal agencies granting SBIR and STTR awards. Please provide the requested items or documents in the same format and with the same type of content as required in the underlying SBIR or STTR application, unless the federal agency does not permit such disclosure. See Application Guidelines. To the extent information in the underlying SBIR or STTR application has not changed, applicants may reference the underlying application. If, however, information in the requested items or documents has changed from the underlying application, applicants should submit new items or documents reflecting those changes, but in the same format and with the same type of content as required in the underlying application. Confidential or proprietary information should be redacted.

 

Please provide the items listed below to justify the new work to be done on the technology funded by the federal agency. It is anticipated that many of these items will need to be drafted to support the new work for this application, rather than simply making reference to the underlying federal application.



















Section 4 – Company Information




Number of Full Time Employees in your company



Number of Executives in your company









Indicate whether your company currently meets all of the following requirements under the Innovate Alabama Supplemental Grant Program. 





Section 5 – Additional Considerations







Indicate whether your company is currently conducting funded research in Alabama as a part of its underlying federal award with any of the following institutions, or will do so with any funds awarded.

If so, please explain the work done by the identified organization in the past, or which will be done with any funds awarded.

At the time of this application, the Company shall disclose below whether, to its knowledge, any Company investor, director, officer, or employee is a member of the Board or an employee of the Innovation Corporation, or a family member of any such individual. Further, the Company shall disclose whether, to its knowledge, any family member of a Company investor, director, officer, or employee is either a member of the Board or an employee of the Innovation Corporation, or a family member of any such individual.


[1] Under Alabama Code § 40-18-376.4(c), an “underrepresented company” is one of the following:


(1) The company is a for-profit business headquartered in a community eligible for investment through the federal New Markets Tax Credit program under 26 U.S.C. § 45D(e), has fewer than 10 employees at the time the project agreement is executed, and has average gross revenues of less than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) in the company's three years prior to the execution of the project agreement; or


(2) The company is a for-profit business that is independently owned and controlled and is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more underrepresented persons or, in the case of a publicly-owned business, the company is a for-profit business of which at least 51 percent of the stock is owned and controlled by one or more underrepresented persons and whose daily management and operations are under the control of one or more underrepresented persons. As used herein, an underrepresented person is a United States citizen who is a woman or is African American.
The applicant hereby certifies that it has reviewed the Supplemental Grant Program Guidelines and that it believes that it is eligible for a supplemental grant.

The undersigned person is authorized to act on behalf of the applicant and certifies that all statements made in the application or its attachments are true.