Minnesota Project Innovation
Active dates:1983 - 2005
Established by the Governor's Commission on Small Business Innovation Research Grant Programs
Function: To help small high-tech businesses develop and market their technologies by securing research and development funds throught the Small Business Innovation Research program.
Minnesota Project Innovation was created in 1983 on a recommendation by the Governor's Commission on Small Business Innovation Research Grants. MPI was a unique coordination program representing a statewide SBIR grant support network. Their goal was to achieve for Minnesota a ranking in the top five states for SBIR grants awarded through 1987. The strategy of MPI was to promote the participation of entrepreneurs, smaller businesses, academics, and established companies in the SBIR grant programs, and to provide support for them to gain access to these most substantial new federal grant monies and to ultimately move into the private sector for financing and commercialization of the products.
An Advisory Council was to provide direction to MN Project Innovation. Lieutenant Governor Marlend Johnson was the chairperson for the Advisory Council for Minnesota Project Innovation.
The Commission established the Minnesota Innovation Center as a resource facility and headquarters for Minnesota Project Innovation and to house the office of the executive director. (Please see agency notebook record for further details).
The Legislature eliminated funding for MPI in 2003 which led to an additional loss of federal matching money. The state and federal government had each been providing about 40 percent of MPI's budget with the rest of their budget coming from private sources. In September 2003, MPI's Procurement Technical Assistance Center (MN PTAC) was transferred to the Metropolitan Economic Development Association, a consulting company, as a means of preserving the program after the loss of state and federal funding.
On February 28, 2005 the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development officially took over MPI. The plan was for DEED to use surplus money in their internal budget to pay for operating the program through June of that year. Any state funding for MPI appears to have been eliminated by 2008. (Information in the last two paragraphs is from news articles from 2003-2005, they can be found in the agency notebook entry for this group).
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Record last updated:
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