Richardson Launches Pilot RAMP Program to Foster Research, Innovation, Growth

RAMP—the Richardson Research Award Match Program—aims to complement the federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. Offering businesses matching grants of up to $150,000 per year, it's designed to attract and support research and development in Richardson, especially in The IQ—the city's Innovation Quarter.

The city of Richardson has launched a new economic development pilot program aimed at fostering research, innovation, and growth within the local business community called the Richardson Research Award Match Program.

It’s intended to complement the federal Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs and is designed to attract and support research and development in Richardson.

“The Research Award Match Program underscores Richardson’s dedication to continuing our role in the DFW Metroplex as a hub of innovation,” Richardson Mayor Bob Dubey said in a statement. “Backing local businesses in their pursuit of groundbreaking ideas is a strategic investment in the future success of our community and builds on our reputation as a place for big ideas and successful enterprise.”

The city says its pilot RAMP program was designed to empower small businesses to unlock their technological and economic potential. It’s aimed at not only facilitating research and development but also supporting the eventual commercialization of emerging technologies.

The 2022 ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Richardson Innovation Quarter’s HQ. [Courtesy photo]

“While RAMP funds are available to all research-focused, for-profit, privately owned small businesses located throughout the city, the program will be especially helpful in stimulating groundbreaking technology in the Richardson Innovation Quarter, or The IQ,” City Manager Don Magner said in a statement. “By providing additional financial assistance to startups that have proven strong potential for commercialization of R&D projects, we’ll continue to strengthen the IQ’s mission of being the premier tech hub in Texas.”

Richardson is among the leaders in SBIR funding in Texas, and The Richardson IQ is uniquely developed to host startups and scaleups due to its flexibility, affordability, and combination of both office and industrial space, the city said.

RAMP features and eligibility

According to the city, RAMP features include:

Financial Support: It will provide matching grants to qualifying businesses, supplementing existing financial resources for research and development projects. Phase I eligible companies may qualify for up to $50,000 in funding. Phase II eligible companies may qualify for up to an additional $100,000 in funding. The total program award funding available to a business (Phases I and II) is capped at no more than $150,000 per fiscal year.

Innovation Focus: Emphasis will be placed on projects that demonstrate innovative solutions, cutting-edge technologies and advancements that contribute to the economic vibrancy of the city.

Collaboration: The program encourages collaboration between businesses, research institutions, and the city, fostering a dynamic ecosystem that supports growth and development.

Application Process: Interested businesses can apply through a streamlined application process on the economic development website, ensuring accessibility and efficiency in securing financial support for their projects.

RAMP will award funds to research-focused, for-profit, privately owned small businesses that have received federal SBIR or STTR Phase I or Phase II grants, the city said. The program is intended to support startup companies that have a high potential for commercial viability.

The city said that recipients must be located in Richardson, or commit to relocating to and operating in Richardson for a minimum of five years after receiving funds. Program eligibility and qualifications will be assessed at the end of the first year, and adapted as needed, the city said.

Businesses interested in applying for the RAMP program can go here.

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