WASHINGTON, D.C., May 20, 2021 – The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) May 21 with the goal of advancing emerging technologies and innovations through MCC’s Innovation and Technology Program (ITP).
“Our collaboration with the Small Business Administration will allow MCC partner countries to more easily access proven, cutting edge technologies to solve some of their most pressing development challenges,” said MCC’s Vice President of the Department of Compact Operations Fatema Z. Sumar. “We are pleased to be joining with other U.S. government agencies to maximize our joint impact, while also providing opportunities to scale private sector involvement in MCC’s blended finance work.”
The ITP, in collaboration with other U.S. federal agencies participating in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, aims to deliver modern, private sector technology solutions for developmental impact and commercialization with MCC programs and partner countries. This partnership will identify, pilot, and scale innovative technologies to address country-specific needs in sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture and irrigation, health, and water, sanitation, and hygiene. It will also help U.S. small business innovators gain access international markets.
“This agreement continues the incredible collaboration between our two agencies in supporting American small businesses while finding innovative technologies to solve some of the world’s most complex problems,” said SBA Director of Innovation John Williams. “By renewing our focus on energy, climate, and the environment, the SBA’s work with the MCC demonstrates American leadership and commitment to sustainable economic development.”
In November 2020, MCC and SBA hosted a virtual roundtable focused on technologies in the water, agriculture, and irrigation sectors. With this partnership, MCC and SBA will convene a second roundtable bringing together agencies and program managers in both the energy and climate resiliency sectors to discuss innovations, which may align and create opportunities in emerging MCC partner countries.
The SBIR and STTR programs are competitive programs that encourage American small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R&D) with the potential for commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated, and the U.S. gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets specific R&D needs.
Learn more about MCC here.
Learn more about SBA’s SBIR and STTR programs here.