DAR File No. 42360

This rule was published in the December 15, 2017, issue (Vol. 2017, No. 24) of the Utah State Bulletin.


Science Technology and Research Governing Auth., Administration

Rule R856-1

USTAR Technology Acceleration Program Grants

Notice of Proposed Rule

(Repeal and Reenact)

DAR File No.: 42360
Filed: 12/01/2017 04:49:11 PM

RULE ANALYSIS

Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

This rule is a result of S.B. 166 from the 2016 General Session, now codified in Utah Code Title 63M, Chapter 2. Subsection 63M-2-503(2) requires the Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) Initiative to create rules governing all USTAR grant programs. This rule is for one of USTAR's new grant programs, the USTAR Technology Acceleration Program (TAP) grants. This rule facilitates the grant under Section 63M-2-503 by establishing the eligibility and reporting criteria for an entity to receive a grant including: 1) the form and process of submitting a grant application; 2) a description of entities eligible to apply for a grant; 3) a description of specific categories of projects that are eligible for a grant; 4) the criteria that will be considered in evaluating and awarding grants; and 5) the contracting and reporting requirements of grant recipients. The repeal and reenact is to: 1) clarify and codify the language in the administrative rule for the grant; 2) update terms and conditions for entities eligible to apply for the grant, criteria for evaluating and awarding grant funding, and contracting and reporting requirements of grant recipients; 3) make USTAR administrative rule language similar across grant programs; and 4) general cleanup.

Summary of the rule or change:

This rule describes the eligibility, reporting, and other criteria required for an entity to receive a grant under Section 63M-2-503, including: 1) the form and process of submitting a grant application; 2) a description of entities eligible to apply for a grant; 3) a description of specific categories of projects that are eligible for a grant; 4) the criteria that will be considered in evaluating and awarding grants; and 5) the contracting and reporting requirements of grant recipients. The repeal and reenact is to: 1) clarify and codify the language in the administrative rule for the grant; 2) update terms and conditions for entities eligible to apply for the grant, criteria for evaluating and awarding grant funding, and contracting and reporting requirements of grant recipients; 3) make USTAR administrative rule language similar across grant programs; and 4) general cleanup.

Statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Subsection 63M-2-302(1)(h)

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

None--It is funded by appropriations that have already been allocated to USTAR for these purposes.

local governments:

None--It is funded by appropriations that have already been allocated to USTAR for these purposes.

small businesses:

The aggregate funding for this particular grant is up to $4,500,000 per year. It is estimated to impact up to 40 companies that could be awarded funding per year. It is expected to have a cost savings for business. It is a grant program that provides businesses with funding to develop new technologies, saving them some of the costs to develop those technologies. USTAR is unable to estimate the exact cost savings, since it will vary given the award received by each company/project. Any potential costs on businesses would be limited to the time and materials spent to complete an application and will affect only those that choose to apply. Businesses that are awarded funding will be required to report data for at least five subsequent years at approximately an hour/year of effort. USTAR is unable to estimate the exact cost since it will vary given the pay of the individual submitting the report.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

None--It is funded by appropriations that have already been allocated to USTAR for these purposes.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

If successful in winning a grant, awardees will be required to report data for at least five subsequent years at approximately an hour/year of effort. USTAR is unable to estimate the exact cost, since it will vary given the pay of the individual submitting the report.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

I. WHETHER A FISCAL IMPACT TO BUSINESS IS EXPECTED AS A RESULT OF THE PROPOSED RULE AND, IF SO, A DESCRIPTION OF WHY: After conducting a thorough analysis, it was determined that this proposed rule is expected to have a cost savings for businesses. It is a grant program that provides businesses with funding to develop new technologies, saving them some of the costs to develop those technologies. II. AN ESTIMATE OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS IN UTAH EXPECTED TO BE IMPACTED: The aggregate funding for this particular grant is up to $4,500,000 per year. It is estimated to impact up to 40 companies that could be awarded funding per year. III. AN ESTIMATE OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS IN UTAH EXPECTED TO BE IMPACTED: The small business that could be impacted would be the estimated up to 40 companies that could be awarded funding. IV. A DESCRIPTION OF THE SOURCES OF COST OR SAVINGS AS WELL AS THE EXPECTED NET SAVINGS OR COST TO BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS AND SMALL BUSINESS ESTABLISHMENTS AS A RESULT OF THE PROPOSED RULE OVER A ONE-YEAR PERIOD, IDENTIFYING ONE-TIME AND ONGOING COSTS: The company and university would receive funding from USTAR to offset the company's research and development costs. The total aggregate savings for businesses could be up to $4,500,000 annually. V. DEPARTMENT HEAD?S COMMENTS ON THE ANALYSIS: Any potential costs on businesses would be limited to the time and materials spent to complete an application and will affect only those that choose to apply. Businesses that are awarded funding will be required to report data for at least five subsequent years at approximately an hour/year of effort. USTAR is unable to estimate the exact cost since it will vary given the pay of the individual submitting the report.

Ivy Estabrooke, Executive Director

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Office of Administrative Rules, or at:

Science Technology and Research Governing Auth.
AdministrationRoom SUITE 550
111 S MAIN
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

  • Ivy Estabrooke at the above address, by phone at 801-538-8709, by FAX at 801-538-8881, or by Internet E-mail at [email protected]
  • Justin Berry at the above address, by phone at 801-538-8884, by FAX at , or by Internet E-mail at [email protected]

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:

01/16/2018

This rule may become effective on:

01/23/2018

Authorized by:

Ivy Estabrooke, Executive Director

RULE TEXT

R856. Science Technology and Research Governing Authority (Utah), Administration.

R856-1. USTAR Technology Acceleration Program Grants.

[R856-1-1. Authority.

(1) Subsection 63M-2-503(2) requires the USTAR governing authority to make rules describing the purpose, eligibility criteria, award process, and reporting requirements for each grant program administered by USTAR.

 

R856-1-2. Purpose and Goals.

(1) The Technology Acceleration Program (TAP) provides funding and other support to Utah companies to accelerate the research and development of new technologies that have a strong market potential.

(2) The goals of TAP are to:

(a) enhance Utah's innovation system by supporting the development, retention, and attraction of science and technology companies; and,

(b) accelerate the growth of high-potential technology companies, leading to the creation of high-paying science and technology jobs in Utah.

(3) Proposals will be reviewed on a competitive basis. All projects funded through TAP must have an identified market and/or commercialization path.

(4) Anticipated duration of projects will be 12-18 months. Funding must be budgeted by State fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) and funding will be dependent on meeting milestones and continued USTAR appropriation.

 

R856-1-3. Definitions.

(1) "Applicant" means a company applying for a USTAR TAP Grant.

(2) "Awardee" means a company that has been awarded a TAP Grant.

(3) "Company" or "Companies" means a privately owned corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other business entity or association and:

(a) does not include an individual, sole proprietorship, or higher-education institution; and,

(b) is represented by persons at least 18 years old.

(4) "Governing Authority" means the Utah Science, Technology and Research Governing Authority.

(5) "TAP" means the USTAR Technology Acceleration Program, its activities and services.

(6) "TAP grant" means the competitive grants awarded as part of the USTAR Technology Acceleration Program.

(7) "Targeted Industry Sector" means the Utah industry or industries designated as such by USTAR for purposes of eligibility for TAP grant funding as described in Subsection R856-1-4(1) below.

(8) "Technology" includes applications of scientific research such as inventions, methods, processes, or other material, virtual application, or intellectual property.

(9) "Technology gap" means the disparity between a company's existing technology or technological capacity and what is needed to develop a commercial application for a product.

(10) "Technology Readiness Level" or "TRL" level means the characterization of the maturity of the technology used by the federal government (http://ustar.org/our-programs/tap-technology-acceleration-program/tap-technology-readiness-levels/).

(11) "USTAR" means the Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative.

 

R856-1-4. Eligibility Criteria at Time of Application.

(1) Company must be developing a technology in a targeted industry sector.

(a) USTAR will identify the industry sector(s) eligible to receive a TAP grant in the TAP application materials.

(b) The USTAR governing authority will, according to its discretion and judgment, review and approve the targeted technology sectors to ensure they are strategically selected to align with USTAR's economic development objectives and maximize the potential benefit to the state

(i) In selecting industry sectors eligible to receive support from TAP, the governing authority may consider the following factors:

(A) statewide or regional importance of the industry to Utah's economy;

(B) relative size of the sector, its stability, and growth potential;

(C) characteristics of the state's existing workforce, including education and training;

(D) the current availability of other sources of funding or risk capital (public or private) for companies in the technology sector;

(E) the potential for the industry sector to develop new jobs and business opportunities in the state; and,

(2) The company must be developing a technology assessed to be between a TRL of 3-5.

 

R856-1-5. Eligibility Criteria at Time of Award and for Maintenance of Grant.

(1) Company must meet the following size, revenue, and funding criteria:

(a) have fewer than 50 employees;

(b) have less than one-million dollars in annual revenue; and

(c) not raised more than five-million dollars in private funding, excluding non-dilutive funding.

(2) Company must be Utah-based.

(a) To be considered Utah-based, a company must:

(i) be registered with the Utah Division of Corporations as an active, for-profit business entity, in good standing;

(ii) have a valid business license from the governing locality at the company's primary location;

(iii) have a substantial presence in the state of Utah;

(A) "substantial presence" means that at least 90% of company's employees are employed in the State of Utah;

(B) company must be approved by the USTAR governing authority according to R856-1-5(2) with consideration given at time of award.

(iv) maintain employees in Utah, which will require the company to provide a copy of its most recent reporting for unemployment insurance with the Utah Department of Workforce Services;

(v) maintain its principal place of business in Utah; and,

(vi) not relocate the company or substantial portions of its employees, operations, or management outside of the State of Utah.

(b) If a company does not meet the criteria in Subsection R856-1-5(1), or if it cannot be reasonably determined whether the company meets the criteria, the governing authority, in its discretion and upon approval by a majority vote, may determine whether a company should be considered a Utah-based company for purposes of the TAP grant by weighing the following factors:

(i) relative size of the entity including the number of employees in Utah and the relative size of operations in the state;

(ii) whether the company is registered as a for-profit business entity in Utah and has a business license in the appropriate Utah city or county;

(iii) whether the company's principal place of business is Utah;

(iv) likelihood that the company will maintain a substantial presence in the state of Utah;

(v) whether the technology will be developed in Utah and how much will be based in Utah when it is completed; and,

(vi) degree to which the company's activities and operations positively impact Utah's economy.

 

R856-1-6. Application and Submission Guidelines.

(1) For each new round of grants, USTAR will provide a program announcement and make applications and instructions available on USTAR's website, and in paper form upon request.

(2) The instructions will include the following:

(a) The procedure for submitting an application.

(b) Specific instructions for application content which will include:

(i) description of the company's technology and commercialization plan and objectives;

(ii) list of technical milestones;

(iii) description of potential market for product;

(iv) potential economic impact on Utah's economy; and,

(v) timeline for completion.

(c) Specific instructions for the required budget outline, including:

(i) total project cost;

(ii) a description of funds already secured for activities related to this project;

(iii) an itemized budget detailing planned use of grant funds; and,

(iv) a breakdown of costs to complete each milestone.

(d) Description of the application evaluation process and scoring system.

(e) Instructions for reporting project results and completing annual follow-up surveys.

(3) Completed applications must be received on or before the specified deadline in the application instructions.

(4) All complete applications will be reviewed and awardees selected via the criteria and method outlined in Sections R856-1-7 and R856-1-8 herein.

 

R856-1-7. Application Review Procedure.

(1) Initial eligibility screening.

(a) USTAR will conduct an initial eligibility screening for each application to ensure:

(i) completeness;

(ii) strict conformity with application instructions;

(iii) verification of minimum eligibility requirements; and

(iv) appropriateness of applicant's reported TRL assessment, technical merit, proposed timelines, and budget.

(b) Any application that fails to meet the criteria in R856-1-7(1) will be rejected and not considered for review.

(2) Panel review.

(a) Accepted applications will be reviewed by independent subject-matter experts ("expert panel") who will evaluate and score the applicant's proposed research project using the criteria in R856-1-8.

(i) Each expert panel will consist of at least two technical subject-matter-experts and one business or industry expert.

(ii) Each expert will review the proposals using an established scoring rubric provided by USTAR that includes evaluation on technical merit, commercialization strategy, economic impact to the state and budget and any other factors considered relevant by USTAR.

(iii) USTAR will have discretion to select the independent experts for the expert review panels and shall consider, as applicable:

(A) academic qualifications, including, for a technical subject-matter expert, whether the expert has a terminal degree in a relevant field;

(B) relevant work experience and practical training in the field;

(C) knowledge of the target industry sector in Utah;

(D) experience evaluating grant proposals;

(E) general investment experience; and,

(F) any other factors USTAR deems important.

(iv) USTAR will screen the experts for conflicts of interest before reviews are initiated, using the conflict of interest policy on USTAR's website. Experts are participating in the application review as a volunteer for USTAR. Each expert is obligated under contract to maintain the classification of records and to keep information protected and confidential as described in the Utah Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA).

(3) Governing authority review.

(a) A subcommittee of the governing authority will convene to review the expert panel's scores and develop recommendations for TAP grants.

(b) The subcommittee will recommend projects for award and award amounts of grant funding to the full governing authority for final approval.

 

R856-1-8. Evaluation and Award Criteria.

(1) The panel of subject matter experts will use an established scoring system to evaluate and rank grant applications and determine grant amounts.

(a) The scoring criteria will be made available during the application period.

(b) The scoring system will be designed to assess and compare each applicant across several categories, which may include:

(i) technical merit of proposal;

(ii) strength and experience of company and management team;

(iii) appropriate technology readiness level (TRL 3-5);

(iv) potential economic impact, as measured by:

(A) job creation;

(B) product sales;

(C) potential revenue due to expansion of current business or development of a new businesses; and, or,

(D) projected time to revenue or job creation;

(v) market need,

(vi) technical and management experience and qualifications;

(vii) commercialization strategy

(viii) reasonableness of the proposed budget, including whether the amounts are appropriate for the work proposed;

(ix) reasonableness of proposed milestones;

(x) proposed timeline is achievable and will not exceed 18 months; and

(xi) any other factor indicative of applicant's ability to produce measurable and timely impacts on the state in areas related to the economic development performance metrics used to evaluate USTAR's activities.

 

R856-1-9. Grant Amount, Award, and Required Contract.

(1) USTAR will have the discretion to limit the amount of funding that may be awarded for each TAP based on available funds, scope of project, and quality of proposal.

(2) USTAR reserves the right to award funding for any proposal in full or in part, to request additional information, or to reject any or all applications based on the eligibility and evaluation criteria set forth in these rules and according to the judgment and discretion of the governing authority.

(3) Upon award of the TAP grant, and prior to any disbursement of funds, Company must enter into a contract with USTAR governing the use of grant funding.

(4) Unless addressed in the terms and conditions of the contract between company and USTAR, the following provisions shall apply:

(a) company must remain a Utah-based company for at least five years from initial disbursement of TAP funding;

(b) grant funding may not be used to provide a primary benefit to any state or country other than Utah; and,

(c) for all other eligibility requirements, company must maintain eligibility status for the TAP program until the project is complete, all milestones have been met, final disbursement of funding has been made, and first year reporting has been completed.

(5) Violations of Subsection R856-1-9(4) may result in forfeiture of grant funding and may require repayment of all or a portion of the funding received as part of the TAP grant.

 

R856-1-10. Contract Modifications.

(1) Company may request a modification to the terms of a TAP contract.

(2) USTAR may deny a modification request for any reason.

(3) USTAR shall have discretion to agree to reasonable, nonsubstantive changes.

(a) Nonsubstantive changes may include the following:

(i) changes to milestone due dates, if the changes do not change the total length of the project;

(ii) corrections to clerical errors in the application materials;

(iii) technical changes to conditions that do not alter the budget, company's eligibility status, or violate any state or federal law.

(b) USTAR staff can issue a "stop work" order until the project can be reviewed by the USTAR governing authority in a closed meeting to determine whether to end a contract due to failed milestones.

(4) Substantive changes must be approved by the USTAR governing authority.

(5) All approved changes shall be made in writing and through an amendment modifying the terms of the grant agreement when required by State procurement regulations.

 

R856-1-11. Milestones.

(1) TAP funding must be used to accelerate the research and development of a technology from TRL level 3 to 5 to a higher TRL level, and project proposals must identify specific milestones leading to the proposed outcome.

(2) Examples of acceptable milestones must be specific to the project may include:

(a) research and development activities;

(b) proof of concept;

(c) product validation; and,

(d) product development.

(3) Remaining grant funds will be disbursed upon successful completion of designated milestones.

(4) Specific funding details will be provided in the program announcement and in each TAP grant contract.

 

R856-1-12. Funding Distribution.

(1) Expenses for each milestone will be reimbursed upon successful completion of that milestone, as outlined in the contract.

(2) Specific funding details will be provided in the program announcement and in each TAP grant contract.

(3) Failure to successfully complete the milestones may result in a recapture of all or part of the grant funding and will be grounds to terminate the contract and any future funding.

 

R856-1-13. Reporting.

(1) Companies are required to provide reporting as specified in Section 63M-2-703 for at least five (5) years following initial receipt of grant funds.]

R856-1-1. Authority.

Subsection 63M-2-503(2) requires the USTAR governing authority to make rules establishing the purpose, eligibility criteria, award process, and reporting requirements for each grant program administered by USTAR.

 

R856-1-2. Purpose and Goals.

(1) USTAR's Technology Acceleration Program (TAP) provides grants and other support to assist start-ups and early stage companies to accelerate the development of a new technology.

(2) The goals of the program are to:

(a) enhance the state's innovation system by supporting the development, retention, and attraction of science and technology companies in Utah; and,

(b) accelerate the growth of high-potential technology companies in the state leading to the creation of high-paying science and technology jobs in Utah.

 

R856-1-3. Definitions.

(1) "Applicant" means a company applying for a USTAR TAP Grant.

(2) "Awardee" means a company that has been awarded a TAP Grant.

(3) "Governing authority" means the Utah Science, Technology, and Research Governing Authority.

(4) "Company" means a privately owned corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or other business entity or association and:

(a) does not include an individual, sole proprietorship, or higher-education institution; and,

(b) is represented by persons at least 18 years old.

(5) "TAP" means the USTAR Technology Acceleration Program, its activities and services.

(6) "TAP grant" means the competitive grant funding awarded and administered by USTAR under TAP.

(7) "Technology" includes applications of scientific research such as inventions, methods, processes, or other material, virtual, or intellectual property.

(8) "Technology Gap" means the disparity between a company's existing technology or technological capacity and what is needed to develop a commercial application for a product.

(9) "Technology Readiness Level" or "TRL" level means the method of estimating technology maturity used by the Federal Government and is available on the USTAR website.

(10) "Targeted Industry Sector" means the Utah industry or industries designated as such by USTAR for purposes of eligibility for TAP grants using the selection criteria described in these rules.

(11) "USTAR" means the Utah Science, Technology, and Research Initiative.

 

R856-1-4. Eligibility Criteria.

(1) Company must be Utah-based.

(a) To be considered "Utah-based," a company must:

(i) be registered with the Utah Division of Corporations as an active, for-profit business entity, in good standing;

(ii) maintain its principal place of business in Utah; and,

(iii) not relocate the business or substantial portions of its employees, operations, or management outside of the State of Utah.

(b) If a company does not meet the criteria in Subsection R856-1-4(1) above, or if it cannot be reasonably determined whether the company meets the criteria, the governing authority, in its discretion and upon approval by a majority vote, may determine whether a company should be considered a Utah-based company for purposes of the TAP grant by weighing the following factors:

(i) relative size of the entity including the number of employees in Utah and the relative size of operations in the state;

(ii) whether the company is registered as a domestic, for-profit business entity in Utah and has a business license in the appropriate Utah city or county;

(iii) whether the company's principal place of business is Utah;

(iv) likelihood that the company will maintain a significant presence in the state of Utah; and,

(v) degree to which the company's activities and operations positively impact Utah's economy.

(2) Company must have fewer than 50 employees, less than $1 million annual revenue and raised less than $5 million in private capitol.

(3) Company must be developing a technology in a targeted industry sector.

(a) USTAR will identify the targeted industry sector(s) eligible to receive a TAP grant in the TAP application materials.

(b) The USTAR governing authority will, according to its discretion and judgment, review and approve the targeted technology sectors to ensure they are strategically selected to align with USTAR's economic development objectives and maximize the potential benefit to the state

(c) In selecting industry sectors eligible to receive support from TAP, the governing authority may consider the following factors:

(i) statewide or regional importance of the industry to Utah's economy;

(ii) relative size of the sector, its stability, and growth potential;

(iii) characteristics of the state's existing workforce, including education and training;

(iv) the current availability of other sources of funding or risk capital (public or private) for early-stage companies in the technology sector;

(v) the potential for the industry sector to develop new jobs and business opportunities in the state; and,

(vi) Likelihood that research in this sector will result in creation of a company in Utah or IP transfer to an existing Utah company; and,

(vii) any other factor the governing authority deems relevant, considering the mission of USTAR and the purpose of TAP.

(4) The company must be developing a technology assessed to be between a TRL of 3-5.

(5) If the Company is a current recipient of a USTAR grant, that project must be verified as complete by USTAR before the application deadline in order for the awardee to be eligible to apply, unless expressly exempted by USTAR.

 

R856-1-5. Application Form and Submission Guidelines.

(1) For each new round of grants, USTAR will provide a program announcement and make applications and instructions available on USTAR's website and in paper form upon request.

(2) The instructions will include the following:

(a) A general procedure for submitting an application;

(b) Requirements for a letter of intent;

(c) Instructions for application content which includes:

(i) description of the company's technology;

(ii) commercialization plan;

(iii) description of technical milestones and qualifications of team to meet milestones;

(iv) potential market;

(v) potential economic impact on Utah economy; and,

(vi) timeline for completion.

(d) Instructions for the required budget outline, including:

(i) total project cost;

(ii) a description of funds already secured for activities related to this project;

(iii) an itemized budget detailing planned use of grant funds; and,

(iv) breakdown of costs to complete each milestone.

(e) Description of the application evaluation process and scoring system.

(f) Instructions for reporting project results and completing annual follow-up surveys.

(3) Completed applications must be received on or before the specified deadline in the application instructions.

(4) All complete applications will be reviewed and awardees selected via the criteria and method outlined in Sections R856-1-6 and R856-1-7 herein.

 

R856-1-6. Application Review Procedure.

(1) Pre-screening

(a) Companies will submit a letter of intent before the specified deadline.

(b) Letter of intent will be reviewed by USTAR staff to determine eligibility to apply based on this Rule and TAP policies. Only companies determined to be eligible may apply for TAP.

(2) Initial eligibility screening.

(a) USTAR will conduct an initial eligibility screening for each application to ensure:

(i) Completeness; and

(ii) Verification of minimum eligibility requirements.

(b) Any application that fails to meet the criteria in Section R856-1-6(2) will be rejected.

(3) Panel Review.

(a) Accepted applications will be reviewed by a panel of independent subject-matter experts ("expert panel") who will evaluate and score the applicant's proposed research project using the criteria in Section R856-1-7.

(i) Each expert panel will consist of at least two technical expert one business expert

(v) USTAR will have discretion to select the independent experts for the expert review panels and shall consider, as applicable:

(A) academic qualifications, including, for a technical subject-matter expert, whether the expert has a terminal degree in a relevant field;

(B) relevant work experience and practical training in the field;

(C) knowledge of the target industry sector in Utah;

(D) experience evaluating grant proposals;

(E) any other factors USTAR deems important.

(vi) USTAR will screen the experts for conflicts of interest before reviews are initiated using the conflict of interest policy available on USTAR's website.

(4) Governing authority review.

(a) A subcommittee of the governing authority will convene to review the expert panel's scores and develop recommendations.

(b) GA subcommittee will consider prior performance of applicant in evaluation

(c) The subcommittee will recommend projects for award and award amounts to the full governing authority for final approval.

 

R856-1-7. Application Evaluation Criteria.

(1) Letter of Intent

(a) The administrative criteria to review letters of

intent will be published in advance.

(2) The review panel will use a scoring system to evaluate and rank grant applications and recommend grant amounts.

(a) The scoring criteria will be made available during the application period.

(b) The scoring system will be designed to assess and compare each applicant across several categories, which may include:

(i) technical merit of proposal;

(ii) strength and maturity of company and management;

(iii) potential for economic impact, as measured by:

(A) job creation;

(B) product sales;

(C) potential revenue due to expansion of current business or development of new businesses; and/or

(D) projected time to revenue or job creation;

(iv) Commercialization plan/ market need;

(v) reasonableness of cost proposal (i.e. size and allocation of budget is appropriate for the work proposed and matching funds available);

(vi) reasonableness of proposed milestones and timelines; and

(vii) any other factor indicative of applicant's ability to produce measurable and timely impacts on the state in areas related to the economic development performance metrics used to evaluate USTAR's activities.

(3) TAP Grants must be used to accelerate the development and commercialization of a technology and project proposals must identify specific technical milestones leading to the proposed outcome.

(4) Examples of acceptable milestones must be specific to the project may include:

(a) research and development activities;

(b) proof of concept;

(c) product validation; and,

(d) product development.

 

R856-1-8. Grant Amount, Award, and Required Contract.

(1) USTAR will have the discretion to determine the maximum amount of funding that may be awarded for each round of TAP based on available funds and quality of applicant pool.

(2) USTAR reserves the right to award funding for any application in full or in part, to request additional information, or to reject any or all applications based on the eligibility and evaluation criteria set forth in these rules and according to the judgment and discretion of USTAR and the governing authority.

(3) Upon award of the TAP grant, and prior to any disbursement of funds, Company must enter into a written agreement with USTAR governing the use of TAP grant funding.

(4) Unless addressed in the terms and conditions of the written agreement between company and USTAR, the following provisions shall apply:

(a) company must remain a Utah-based company for at least five years from initial disbursement of TAP funding;

(b) company may not use TAP grant funding to provide a primary benefit to any state other than Utah; and,

(c) for all other eligibility requirements, company must maintain eligibility status for the TAP program until the project is complete, all milestones have been met, final dispersant of funding has been made, and first year reporting has been completed.

(5) Violations of Section R856-1-8(4) may result in the forfeiture of grant funding and may require repayment all or a portion of funds received as part of the TAP grant.

 

R856-1-9. Contract Modifications.

(1) Company may request a modification to the terms of a TAP contract.

(2) USTAR may deny a modification request for any reason.

(3) USTAR shall have discretion to agree to reasonable, non-substantive changes.

(a) Nonsubstantive changes may include the following:

(i) changes to timelines within the scope of work;

(ii) corrections to clerical errors in the application materials;

(iii) technical changes to conditions that do not alter the budget, company's eligibility status, or violate any state or federal law;

(4) Substantive changes must be approved by the USTAR governing authority.

(5) All approved changes shall be made in writing and through an amendment modifying the terms of the grant agreement.

 

R856-1-10. Funding Distribution.

(1) Initial funding of no more than 50% of the total grant award will be provided within a reasonable time after a TAP grant is approved to allow company to meet initial milestones.

(2) Remaining grant funds will be disbursed upon successful completion of designated milestones.

(3) Specific funding details will be provided in the program announcement and in each TAP grant contract.

(4) Failure to successfully complete the milestones may result in a recapture of all or part of the grant funding and will be grounds to terminate the contract and any future funding.

 

R856-1-11. Reporting.

(1) Companies are required to provide reporting as specified in Section 63M-2-703 for at least five (5) years following initial receipt of grant funds.

 

KEY: Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR), Technology Acceleration Program (TAP) grants, technology readiness level (TRL)

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [ August 15, 2017 ] 2018

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: 63M-2-302(h)


Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull_pdf/2017/b20171215.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

Text to be deleted is struck through and surrounded by brackets ([example]). Text to be added is underlined (example).  Older browsers may not depict some or any of these attributes on the screen or when the document is printed.

For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Ivy Estabrooke at the above address, by phone at 801-538-8709, by FAX at 801-538-8881, or by Internet E-mail at [email protected]; Justin Berry at the above address, by phone at 801-538-8884, by FAX at , or by Internet E-mail at [email protected].  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Office of Administrative Rules.