An Office of Science and Technology is established in the Department of Employment and Economic Development to do the following:
(1) coordinate public and private efforts to procure federal funding for collaborative research and development projects of primary benefit to small and medium-sized businesses;
(2) promote contractual relationships between Minnesota businesses that are recipients of federal grants and prime contractors, and Minnesota-based subcontractors;
(3) work with Minnesota nonprofit institutions including the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, and the Mayo Clinic in promoting collaborative efforts to respond to federal funding opportunities;
(4) develop a framework for Minnesota companies to establish sole-source relationships with federal agencies; and
(5) coordinate workshops, assistance with business proposals, licensing, intellectual property protection, commercialization, and government auditing with the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.
For the purposes of this section, "office" means the Office of Science and Technology established in this subdivision.
The office must develop a program to assist small businesses competing for a small business innovation research award by matching the applicant with a larger company. Prime contractors are matched to small businesses through a prescreening process that may result in a letter of support for the applicant designed to increase the chance of receiving a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award.
The office must develop a program to use the federal high-risk research and development investment program to encourage the development of new technologies, products, and business development and to reduce development risks by encouraging alliances between medium-sized companies and innovative small businesses.
The office must assist businesses in identifying qualified suppliers and vendors through a program to serve as a conduit for Minnesota-based companies to network with firms able to support their success. Firms outside Minnesota can participate in the technology matchmaking network if one of the participating companies is located in Minnesota.
The office must provide commercialization assistance to Minnesota firms that have received a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) or a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award and are submitting a Phase II proposal. Local service providers must assist the applicant with developing and reviewing the required commercialization plan prior to Phase II submission. The office may provide SBIR Phase I proposal technical review.
The commissioner of employment and economic development must report to the committees in the house of representatives and senate having jurisdiction over bioscience and technology issues on the activities of the Office of Science and Technology by June 30, 2009.