Locust business receives next-generation technology grant

LOCUST A Stanly County business was one of 101 small businesses to receive a grant to advance the commercialization of innovative new technologies. The One North Carolina Small Business Program awarded a total of $4.95 million to innovative companies in 22 counties across the state. 

“Support for early-stage technology companies pays off in better jobs, more investment, and new ways to make our state a great place to live and do business,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. “These small businesses are tackling society’s most pressing challenges in many areas, including the life sciences, defense, and clean energy. Innovative small companies drive growth and competition, keeping our economy healthy and quality of life high.” 

United Protective Technologies, LLC, of Locust was awarded $69,913.00 to design and develop windows that can protect infrared sensors during the aggressive conditions of hypersonic flight, during which temperatures can reach 3,000° F. The project is being sponsored by the United States Navy. 

The One North Carolina Small Business Program, established in 2005, provides state grants to companies that are pursuing or have won federal awards through two highly competitive federal programs, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. These federal programs support small businesses that are developing technologies with a high potential for commercialization.  

“Innovation drives our economy forward, and small businesses are the very best incubators of innovation,” said North Carolina Commence Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “The One North Carolina Small Business Program has supported the state’s small technology businesses for many years and I’m proud we’ve been able to extend the program’s reach and boost the number of small companies engaged with the program.” 

“Recognizing the continued importance of fostering innovation statewide, this year the Board took deliberate action to create a larger and geographically diverse cohort,” said Rick Webb, Chair of the Board’s Outreach & Funding Committee. “The Board’s actions are bearing fruit in more cities and counties. Demand for this program is strong and growing, and with increased funding, we can help North Carolina companies stay competitive as other states start to offer similar support for their small businesses.” 

The Program has been responsible for helping to create 1,000 North Carolina jobs, the development and commercialization of hundreds of high-tech products, and the generation of more than $2 billion in follow-on capital investments.