SBIR & STTR Proposals

Part 1: July 21, 2011 –

• SBIR and STTR: Are these the right grants for you?
As popular as they are, SBIR & STTR are just not right for every applicant – only 1 application in 9 wins funding; and the odds of winning just got worse. Many who do apply, never should have wasted their time. Since government SBIR program personnel’s job is to encourage more applications (so their review teams will have plenty of these upon which to operate/evaluate), they are not very appropriate BID/NO BID decision advisors. This presentation will make it clear what principles and guidelines should be employed when making these decisions and should be used to guide the preparation of competitive applications, if and when such are attempted.

Top 5 challenges PIs face with this topic:
1. Understanding the “real” underlying nature of the SBIR & STTR Programs.
2. Making reasonable, rational BID/NO BID decisions.
3. Understanding and articulating the “business” aspects of the proposal argument.
4. Acquiring competition information and employing advice from the wrong sources.
5. Apprehending, then providing, what it takes to evoke positive responses in SBIR/STTR Reviewers

• SBIR Proposal Structure for Academic Investigators

Although university faculty/researchers are typically not the PIs on SBIR proposals it is important to have a strong knowledge of the structure of this type of proposal when entering into collaboration with a small business. Academics play a crucial role in successful SBIR grants and may in fact choose to start companies on their own with SBIR funds. An experienced NIH program officer will join the webinar to describe the overall structure of the proposal, topic identification, crossing the academic- company cultural divide, and understanding the NIH timeline.

Top 5 challenges PIs face on this topic:
1. Understanding the ways in which Academics can tap into SBIR
2. Transitioning their academic research to the private sector
3. Recognizing the point of view from which the proposal is written
4. Dealing with academic/industry cultural issues
5. Understanding the choice of topic and alignment to the NIH solicitation
PART 2: August 22, 2011

  • SBIR Strategies: Academic Partners and University Consultants

SBIR phase I and phase II proposals permit research institutions to collaborate with small businesses. You can serve as a consultant on a small business grant or your  lab can subcontract to a small business. Did you know your University or economic development entity in your area may have specific programs and financial assistance to encourage your entrepreneurship? This sounds good but you must be able to manage your institutions’ approach to intellectual property and conflict of interest issues. Prior to entering an SBIR proposal as a consultant or collaborator you should know the typical University guidelines that may apply to faculty who participate in these types of proposals.

Top 5 challenges PIs face on this topic:

1. Understanding the need for focused, milestone oriented research

2. Potential limits to the publication of their research

3. Need for protection of human subjects and animal welfare if required

4. Dealing with intellectual property, patents and ownership

5. Potential Conflict of Interest issue


  • Tips on Preparing the Cost Portion of an SBIR Phase II Proposal

Too often, we see newer clients and prospects spend hundreds of hours on the technical portion of their SBIR proposal only to ignore several key areas of importance when preparing the cost portion of the proposal.  In this webinar, we will explore the most common mistakes grantees (and contractors) make when preparing the cost portion of their SBIR proposal and give clear guidance on a better way.  While the specific example presented focuses on an NIH phase II cost proposal, viewers working with ALL government agencies will obtain a better perspective of the process and will gain several great take-aways and directions to free resources.  The main focus of the presentation will be the most mis-understood part of this process – How to project the right indirect rate for you (and how to ask the government for the money that you need).

Top 5 challenges PIs face on this topic:

1.   Lack of perspective on how the Government funds awards and why funding amounts are so different when there’s supposed to be a “cap”.

2.   Lack of knowledge of tools to assist you

3.   How to develop an indirect rate

4.   Where to get objective benchmarking feedback on your specific cost proposal

5.   Lack of understanding of how the negotiation process works

Please RSVP by Contacting Ashley Myers at (404-727-1785)

** Materials provided by Principal Investigators

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