OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 224

AN ACT INCREASING THE COMPETITIVENESS OF SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES THROUGH RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires UConn or any of its campuses to establish a program assisting small and medium businesses to develop innovative advanced manufacturing technologies and appropriates $ 1 million in FY 13 for this purpose. UConn must do this in concert with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT), a nonprofit organization helping manufacturers, high technology firms, small businesses, and entrepreneurs operate more efficiently and improve their workforce.

The bill requires UConn and CCAT to collaborate with the businesses participating in the program, including allowing businesses to use both organizations' facilities and equipment, access their respective staff, and, in UConn's case, access its students. UConn must use the appropriation to fund the center and develop and support its collaborations.

UConn and CCAT must establish eligibility criteria for participating in the program that must include minimum required contributions from participating businesses. The program is open to Connecticut-based businesses with 100 or fewer employees. The bill divides these businesses into two groups: “small businesses,” with 50 or fewer employees, and “medium size businesses,” with 51 to 100 employees.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2012

BACKGROUND

CCAT Services

CCAT provides a range of services to military and civilian manufacturers, high technology businesses, small businesses, entrepreneurs, educators, and policy makers. The services include benchmarking, which helps businesses assess their productivity and identify areas for improvement; quality training, which helps them improve quality, productivity, and efficiency; and supply chain services, which seek to improve all steps in planning, producing, and delivering products to customers.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Commerce Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

18

Nay

0

(03/22/2012)