LITTLE ROCK — Three bills that Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed into law this week are expected to provide a boost to the state’s innovation and technology sector, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission said in a statement Friday.
The measures include:
—The Arkansas Business and Technology Accelerator Act, which will create a $2 million accelerator grant program for start-up companies. AEDC will seek corporate sponsors to provide matching funds to create accelerator events throughout the state. Grants of up to $25,000 will be available to qualified applicants at each event.
—The Arkansas Small Business Innovation Research Matching Funds Program, which will provide funds to match up to 50 percent of federal grant funds for qualifying companies. The state will provide a 50 percent match up to a cap of $50,000 for the first phase of the program and up to $100,000 for the second phase.
—An amendment to the Arkansas Acceleration Fund Act of 2011 that gives advisory capacities to the board of directors of AEDC’s Division of Science and Technology. The Board will advise AEDC’s leadership on issues related to innovation and technology in the state.
“All three of these acts are intertwined to help entrepreneurs and small business owners get the support they need to continue our momentum in increasing our state’s footprint in the knowledge-based sectors,” AEDC Executive Director Mike Preston said.