|The IU Industrial Research Liaison Program (IRLP) has opened an office on the IU Kokomo campus, through its Division of Continuing Studies.
Davida Parks, IRLP grants consultant, is available by appointment to meet with clients.
IRLP offers services to regional businesses, such as
• Technical assistance in preparing grants for commercialization of new products;
• Access to Indiana InfoNet, a resource for printed and online business information; and
• Facilitation of business mentoring services for young companies.
IRLP is supported by the IU Office of Research and the University Graduate School, along with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and the U.S. Small Business Administration. IRLP helps companies secure funding for the commercialization of new products, particularly through federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. Funding research and development of technology-oriented products such as electronics, medical equipment, software and hardware, SBIR offers grants of up to $100,000 in Phase 1 of the program and as much as $750,000 in Phase 2. From July 2001 through June 2002, 17 Indiana businesses won 26 SBIR awards, totaling $7.3 million, according to Parks. Applicants must be United States–owned companies and have fewer than 500 employees; they can range from start-ups to well established existing businesses.
“The SBIR program is a great way for companies to fund their research and development of new technology products,” Parks said. “Companies that may not have all the expertise they need to apply by themselves can strengthen their projects by collaborating with university faculty or partnering with other companies. IRLP may be able to assist companies in making these connections.”
The IRLP office also helps entrepreneurs and non-profits learn more about potential competitors and market factors through its InfoNet service. By phone, clients can request patent and trademark searches, literature reviews, news of government programs and grants, science and technical information, and other publicly available business data. IRLP information specialists search databases, libraries, and other sources for requested information, and then send it to the client on a pro bono basis. InfoNet is funded by the State of Indiana, Indiana University and the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The IU Kokomo office is one of six IRLP sites in the state. Having an office on the IU Kokomo campus should help “make more companies aware of the program and make it easier for companies to take advantage IRLP’s services,” Parks said. If time in developing grant proposals allows, the IRLP office might ask IU Kokomo faculty members to review proposals. “We try to tap into local campuses whenever we can if we can match the company up with the appropriate expertise,” Parks said.
“We are extremely pleased to have the IRLP services available on a regular basis at IU Kokomo,” said Fred Hakes, director of the Division of Continuing Studies. “IRLP fills a very important strategic niche for further development of entrepreneurship and technology across north central Indiana.”
The operating agreement establishing the IRLP office in Kokomo noted that, in a 2001 State of the Workforce Report, prepared by Workforce Development Strategies, Inc., IU Kokomo was “the only unifying entity that serves the entire 11-county north central Indiana region, and that the campus has “particularly compelling reasons to be involved in promoting the health of our economy and the lives of our citizens.” The 11 counties—homes to the majority of IU Kokomo students—include Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Fulton, Grant, Hamilton, Howard, Madison, Miami, Tipton and Wabash counties.
To schedule appointments at the IU Kokomo office or to request InfoNet research, Parks may be reached at 800-624-8315.
For more about IRLP: