Ray Friesenhahn serves as the SBIR and Technology Transition Manager for TechLink, and Advanced Technology Scout for MilTech, both DoD Partnership Intermediaries based at Montana State University. Under Ray’s leadership, TechLink’s SBIR programs have served companies in more than twenty states, utilizing expert team support focusing on effective commercialization/transition, while promoting strategic partnerships with universities, Prime Contractors and DoD laboratories. Ray’s work was recognized with a 2007 National Tibbetts Award for Individual Achievement, for “Outstanding Contributions to the SBIR Program.” TechLink’s programs have directly helped client companies win over 400 Phase I, II, and III awards valued at over $230 million, while participating Montana companies had award rates more than twice the national averages. Ray has led over 120 workshops and seminars on SBIR and Technology Transfer and Transition in nearly twenty states, speaking at ten National SBIR/STTR conferences, and has helped organize and lead major regional SBIR conferences, including two Texas SBIR State Summits. He also serves as a partner representative and DoD liaison to the Advanced Power & Energy Cluster, one of three SBA-sponsored regional innovation clusters nationwide focused on advanced defense technologies.
Ray guided the 2014 USAF SBIR/STTR Economic Impact Study, the first comprehensive study of an agency’s or Service’s SBIR/STTR program. This was an intensive direct survey of award recipients to determine the outcomes and economic impacts of 4,524 Air Force Phase II awards to 1,750 companies, generating a 96% response rate, and showing a very conservative $47.9 billion total economic impact from the Air Force’s $4B investment, with a number of major successes now highlighted in a series of professional videos. A similar study was completed for the Navy in 2016, again demonstrating a very high national ROI on SBIR/STTR funds invested. Ray is now guiding the largest such study yet, assessing the outcomes and economic impacts of more than 16,000 DoD Phase II contracts initiated between 1995 and 2012, which is on pace for completion in 2018.
Ray has a BS in physics and an MBA in Entrepreneurship, and is a Certified Licensing Professional.