Driving Small Business R&D with NRRI’s Business Assistance Fund

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI) has developed a Business Assistance Fund (BAF) program to drive small business growth and expansion in Minnesota. NRRI is committed to helping entrepreneurs secure funding for important research and development projects in NRRI’s focus areas:

  • Minerals, Metallurgy, and Mining
  • Forest and Land
  • Wood Products and Bioeconomy
  • Water
  • Renewable Energy

The BAF was created to help small (<500 employees) business owners and entrepreneurs bring ideas to market faster, with less risk and at a lower cost. This drives business, strengthens the economy and creates jobs in many sectors. NRRI works directly with entrepreneurs to research, develop and test new products made with Minnesota’s natural resources. NRRI strongly encourages and invites all small business owners and entrepreneurs to seize this unique opportunity to secure funding assistance and access NRRI expertise, labs and technologies.

Funding for Minnesota-Made Products
Funding for the BAF initiative comes from different sources, including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Blandin Foundation. NRRI actively seeks funding to expand the scope of the BAF program to support more businesses and entrepreneurs.

Research Underway
NRRI is currently supporting two companies in the wood products industry to increase the use of underutilized Minnesota timber species through the USDA’s State Wood Innovation Team Grant.
In addition, a Blandin Foundation grant is currently available to business owners in Itasca County and the communities of Hill City, Remer, Blackduck, and Northome.

The BAF grant is a close partnership between NRRI and Itasca Economic Development Corporation (IEDC). In addition to NRRI research, development and testing, IEDC provides business planning, financials, and market analysis – that means every business owner and entrepreneur who receives the Blandin Foundation Grant will have access to excellent business development resources to bring their idea to market successfully and sustainably. Over the next three years, NRRI and IEDC plan to support 9-10 businesses in our region. Learn more about the Blandin Foundation Grant.

If you, or an entrepreneur you know, could benefit from NRRI’s expertise, labs, and technologies, please reach out to Shima Hosseinpour at (218) 788-2626.

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