You have to have champions at the local, private-sector, and state levels,” he said. “What we can do is work with those folks as true partners and customize the deployment of federal resources to amplify and accelerate that particular cluster.”

Dr. Johnson noted that hubs target particular areas and applications. She said the SBIR program is trying to make its solicitations broader to put greater focus on commercializing clean energy and creating jobs. Over the past 20 years, she pointed out, 94 percent of the new jobs generated in the United States came from small businesses. “The target really is about getting everyone to come together and create those spin-offs,” she said.

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