Dallas to Host Federal BioTech Conference

Local startups and researchers can learn how to get federal research-and-tech-driven grant funding and meet federal experts in this conference hosted by the Dallas Regional Chamber. 


The federal Department of Health and Human Services awarded nearly $1 billion in 2017 in grants to companies, startups, and researchers to improve health and to advance life sciences.

This fall, the Dallas Regional Chamber is hosting the 20th Annual HHS SBIR/STTR Conference, which is considered the cornerstone in the department’s congressional mandate to reach out to innovators, developers, and business leaders to spur the next big breakthrough. The conference focuses on the workings of the HHS’ research-and-tech-driven grant programs, known as the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR).

“We’re excited to host federal experts who can help entrepreneurs and researchers grow their ideas and companies.” 

Duane Dankesreiter

“We’re inviting entrepreneurs, small-business leaders, and researchers from across the nation to learn firsthand how to apply for these research and development grants,” said Duane Dankesreiter, senior vice president of research and innovation at the DRC. “We’re excited to host federal experts who can help entrepreneurs and researchers grow their ideas and companies.”

The conference — this year, themed “A Better Tomorrow: Big Ideas in Biotech” — is set for Oct. 30-Nov. 1 at the Hilton Anatole, just north of downtown Dallas.

Scheduled sessions will cover a broad area of topics, from navigating the grant application process, to a keynote speech by Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers, director of the Division of Special Programs Office of Extramural Research at the National Institutes of Health. Rodgers oversees a staff of more than 600 people and a budget of roughly $2 billion. He is credited with developing the first effective treatment for sickle cell anemia.

Attendees also will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with more than 100 SBIR/STTR program managers and staff from the:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Administration for Community Living (ACL)
  • HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG)
  • Department of Defense, Defense Health Agency (DHA)
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC)
  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)

Those who would especially benefit from attending include small-business owners seeking innovative technology products; motivated entrepreneurs and researchers; small-business owners interested in learning about new SBIR/STTR initiatives; and academic administrators interested in learning how to leverage SBIR/STTR funding for their institutions.

The conference is open to the public; early bird registration ends Aug. 30. Space is limited; organizers are encouraging early registration.

For more information, visit the event website.

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Dave Moore has 30 years’ experience in writing, editing, reporting, and analysis. He’s traveled to Bosnia to observe efforts to boost the country’s post-Soviet economy, explored the causes of ho(...)