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Minnesota Science and Technology Authority lacks funding

Posted by: under Minnesota entrepreneurs, Minnesota innovation, Minnesota technology Updated: June 22, 2012 - 4:36 PM

The Minnesota Science and Technology Authority faces yet another financial setback.

The group, focused on creating high-paying science and technology jobs in the state, failed to get the $10 million it requested from the state Legislature for the second time in a row.

Instead, the authority will operate on $107,000, not enough to fund all of its programs and two staff members.

“It’s disappointing,” said executive director Betsy Lulfs.

The state set up the authority in 2010. The authority’s advisory commission, made up of officials from the public and private sectors, sought $10 million a year for programs such as advising entrepreneurs and backing promising technologies.

But the Legislature only awarded the group roughly $350,000 for programs last year, which helped pay for student scholarships and assisting companies with federal grants.

Now, the authority will operate on even less —$107,000.

By the end of the month, Becky Aistrup, the authority’s program director for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grants, will leave her position.

She’s accepted a job as a consultant for Michigan-based BBCetc.

That leaves only one staff member — Lulfs. The authority will work on asking for the same amount of money next year, Lulfs said.

“We’re back to where we started,” she said.

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