NHIRC Day in Concord

Monday, March 6, 2017


Ellen Christo

In February, the New Hampshire Innovation Research Center (NHIRC) hosted a brown bag luncheon in Concord, NH to raise awareness of the program and to urge lawmakers to increase funding to support innovations through industry and university research collaborations. The NHIRC is a state funded economic development grant which provides funding to support projects under development in the private sector in New Hampshire. Projects vary from proof-of-concept to substantial product or process design. Companies are required to provide matching dollars or in-kind services with the intention of improving the impact of the NHIRC award.

State legislators were invited to the luncheon event to meet NHIRC administrators and some representatives from previously funded companies to learn how translational research funding through the NHIRC helps companies innovate, stay, and grow in New Hampshire. The participating NHIRC-funded companies each had their own table where they displayed information about the work they’ve done through the grant and showcased the outputs of their research and development efforts. The event provided an opportunity for those companies to talk about their businesses, highlight the technology developed with NHIRC support, and describe the value added in terms of increased profits, revenue streams, and new jobs for our state.

There were over 40 legislators in attendance. Marc Sedam, Executive Director of the NHIRC addressed the room; urging the lawmakers to continue to fund this important program. The NHIRC once received $500,000 a year before state budget cuts trimmed the program’s funding in recent years. It now gets just $275,000 a year. In comparison, each year, Maine invests approximately $7 million and Vermont approximately $4 million in similar translational research funding initiatives. Massachusetts invests between $50 and $300 million annually.

Since its inception, the NHIRC has awarded more than $8 million in state funds to support research projects and has been responsible for the creation or retention of more than 680 jobs in NH. Funding innovation in the state is important to NH’s economic development and the NHIRC will continue to do all it can to share its success stories and increase awareness and support of the program.

For information about current and upcoming NHIRC funding opportunities, visit http://www.nhirc.unh.edu.

Ellen Christo
Sr. Director of Strategic Partnerships, UNHInnovation
Program Manager, NHIRC

The NHIRC is administered by UNHInnovation on behalf of the state.