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Small Business Research Loan (SRL)

Maximum Award: 

Program Description

The SRL Program funds research to advance development of commercially viable technologies/products. Through the SRL program, loans of up to $250,000 are available for life science companies in North Carolina. This program supports companies in reaching specific and meaningful research milestones that would position them to obtain additional funding from private and public sources.


In order for a candidate life science company to be eligible to apply for the SRL, it must:

  • Have significant operating presence in North Carolina. To establish a significant presence, the company must (i) maintain its head office (where its books and records are kept, taxes are paid, and senior management is located) in North Carolina as reported to the Secretary of State and/or (ii) conduct significant research, product development, or manufacturing activity in North Carolina.
  • Be engaged in life science research, development or manufacturing to develop a product or technology with commercial potential.
  • Have achieved a robust technical and commercially promising proof-of-principle of its technology for the intended product or application.
  • Have a committed, dedicated management team and a solid business plan.
  • Have a valid license(s) to the relevant core intellectual property expected to be necessary for the company to commercialize its product or technology.
  • Have completed all project(s) funded by any previously-awarded NCBiotech loan(s).

NCBiotech determines compliance with these requirements in its sole discretion on a case-by-case basis.

Application Process

Companies interested in more information about a SRL please complete the interest form. Upon receipt, the program director will contact you to discuss the company, its proposed project, and the application procedures. After this discussion, company representatives may be invited to the Biotechnology Center to make an initial presentation.

Pre-Application: Once the applicant’s eligibility and general fit for the program have been established, the company may be invited to submit a pre-application describing the company’s management, technology, proposed project, and budget.

Full Application: Upon satisfactory review of the pre-application, the company may be invited to submit a full application. This application will include the company’s complete business plan, project proposal, financial statements and other supporting documentation.

Review and Approval: The Business and Technology Development team will thoroughly review the company’s application and solicit independent, third-party reviewers to help evaluate the technical and commercial merits of the proposal. Competitive applications will be presented to the NCBiotech’s Equity Investment Committee (EIC) for final review and approval.

Application Deadlines:

Pre-Application must be
submitted no later than:
And Full Application
must be submitted by:
For potential review
by EIC in:
November 7, 2016 December 16, 2016 March 2017
February 3, 2017 March 10, 2017 June 2017
May 12, 2017 June 16, 2017 September 2017
August 4, 2017 September 8, 2017 December 2017

Loan Terms

The SRL is a senior, unsecured loan with favorable terms including:

  • Three-year loan with balloon payment at maturity for principal and accrued interest.
  • Interest rate equal to the current prime rate plus 3%.
  • Warrant coverage for a portion of the loan principal amount.

Loan Distribution

Successful applicants will receive the loan funds according to the following schedule:

  • 50% of the loan amount at closing.
  • An additional 40% upon receipt and approval of a mid-term project report.
  • The final 10% upon receipt and approval of a final project report.

Mid-term and final reports include a detailed update of progress against proposed milestones (including supporting data) and actual spending versus budget. The Biotechnology Center will actively monitor the company’s progress until the SRL is repaid in full. Periodic progress reports and occasional site visits will be required.


Contact Vivian Doelling at with questions regarding this program.