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SBA Announces Improvements to SBIR Program

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SBA Announces Improvements to SBIR Program

By NicoleD
Published: September 29, 2010 Updated: August 17, 2011

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program allows qualified small businesses to compete for research and development financing by proposing innovations that meet the needs of the Federal Government. Earlier this month, SBA announced the SBIR program will soon undergo a series of improvements to increase the progra;s overall effectiveness and efficiency. Read on to learn more.

About SBIR

The program is a highly competitive, three-phase award system, specifically designed to fund research and development activities that private sector investors may label-too earl- or'too risky' SBIR, and its sister, the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, encourage small firms to undertake scientific research that helps meet Federal R&D objectives, and have high potential for commercialization if successful. To learn more about federal research grants for small businesses, visit Business.gov and SBIR.gov.

Upcoming Improvements to the SBIR Program

The SBIR program convened a working group to assess feedback from small businesses and recommendations from independent, third-party studies to identify and implement changes that will help make the SBIR program more entrepreneur-friendly, help attract high-quality applicants, and strengthen performance measurements to ensure effective operation of the program.

Changes to the program include:

  • Setting the target time-frame between selection of a proposal and award to an applicant at less than 60 days for all agencies. To help achieve a faster turn-around time, the program will work to standardize contracts and share best practices.
  • Building a 'one-stop-shop' web portal with all solicitation topics available and searchable with current announcements and news that will allow entrepreneurs to find what they need in one place.
  • Evaluating opportunities to clarify and simplify data rights for the Federal Government and entrepreneurs.
  • Improving government processes:

    Expanding bridge financing programs, to encourage participation from more federal agencies. As part of this effort, the Department of Energy recently announced $30M in new funding with money not previously a part of the SBIR allocation.

    Expanding use of the SBIR program to facilitate technology transfer from federal labs. The National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Navy, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Transportation have committed to enhance their commercialization prospects through the SBIR program.

    Encouraging agencies to issue joint solicitations to work together to streamline application topics and address areas of national priorities. As part of this effort, several federal agencies issued a joint SBIR Phase I solicitation for robotics, which features more than 50 topics to which small businesses can respond.

Have questions?

Visit SBA.gov for more information about the SBIR program, including qualifications for businesses and frequently asked questions.

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