Small Utah companies have received 120 awards in the first four years of the Small Business Innovation Research program, bringing to the state an estimated $11.5 million, according to a report from the Small Business High Technology Institute of Phoenix, Ariz.

In that time, more than 700 proposals were made by Utah companies to a dozen federal agencies conducting competition for research to help the government and the companies, said Milton D. Stewart, institute president. He said the report will be sent to governors, lieutenant governors and legislators in all 50 states."Even though 31 small business won 120 SBIR awarded totaling nearly $11.5 million, we did not take advantage of additional funds available to Utah," said Loren Nelson, Region 8 director of the National Innovation Network.

in the recovery of American technology competitiveness. We still need far swifter changes than we presently have in the way it and the other elements in our national industrial innovation process fit together," Stewart said.

A Phase 1 grant is up to $50,000 and is designed to get an idea going, a Phase 2 grant is up to $500,000 and designed to get a company into extensive research development and Phase 3 is the commercial production of the product.

"It is too soon to appraise the ultimate value of this program in terms of return to taxpayers. But there are very good signs that some SBIR winners will find their way into the private sector with commercially viable products," Stewart said.

Beginning next year and continuing thereafter for five years, enough small companies will complete SBIR Phase 2 projects to provide a real test of whether they can make it to Phase 3 in the commercial marketplace, he said.

Among the small businesses in Utah with successful SBIR proposals are:

Bonneville Scientific of Salt Lake City, which has participated for four year and won 12 grants, three in Phase 2 projects, from several federal agencies.

-- Ceramatec Inc. of Salt Lake City, another four-year participant, that has received 11 awards, including four in Phase 2, from several federal agencies.

-- Daedalus Research Inc. of Logan, received Phase 1 and 2 awards from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

-- Lee Scientific Inc. of Provo was a six-time winner with two awards from each of three federal agencies.

-- Technical Research Associates Inc. of Salt Lake City won 28 awards from several federal agencies.