Technology grants may be defined in several ways. They may involve funding for development of new technology, refinement of existing technology, or funding to add or enhance technology for a school or community agency.
Technology grants can fund computer purchases for schools, software development for safer or more energy-efficient manufacturing processes, communication enhancement systems for law enforcement, or automation of climate control systems for museums to name just a few categories.
Technology grants are offered by several Federal agencies. The Departments of Energy, Homeland Security, Agriculture, Education, and many sub-agencies of those departments have all offered technology grant funding at different times. A search at grants.gov and the websites of individual agencies can produce many application opportunities.
Private corporate foundations offer funding or in-kind technology grant opportunities related either to their product, or to their foundation mission. For example, a computer manufacturer or software developer may offer matching grants to obtain their products at a highly reduced cost or to establish an environment that will increase the future need for the product. They may hope that you will continue to use the product, and they hope to develop brand loyalty through the grant. Some simply want to aid the general spread of technology.
While it is not terribly common, technology grants can sometimes be accessed directly by the end-user. Technology grants providing cash typically favor non-profits, schools, and government entities, but in-kind grants are occasionally made available to individuals through community or locally based corporate grants.
Applying for a technology grant is no different from the process for any other type of grant. You will need a strong description of need, a program description, a plan for sustainability after the grant funding is exhausted, a complete and comprehensive program budget, and probably a CV or biography for any key personnel. If the program is substantial, you will probably also be required to submit to, or furnish, a program evaluation.