MAY 2012
ARPA-E Funding for Energy-Related Technologies
Over the last couple months, we've seen a lot of activity with the Department of Energy and specifically ARPA-E, so I thought it might be worthwhile to remind everyone what this program is all about. 
Michael Kurek


The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (aka ARPA-E) is an agency within the Dept. of Energy that funds the development and deployment of transformational and disruptive energy technologies. They focus on high-risk concepts with potentially high rewards. The agency is currently funding 121 projects that run from 1-to- 3 years with awards ranging from $0.5 -$10M. Some ARPA-E highlights:


1. APRA-E accepts unsolicited proposals and issues frequent Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA).
2. Current topics include: 
  • Energy Storage SBIR/STTR 
  • Advanced Management and Protection of Energy-storage Devices 
  • Methane Opportunities for Vehicular Energy 
3. ARPA-E issues specific FOAs for small, for-profit businesses to compete for SBIR/STTR opportunities. This involves submitting a simple letter of intent, followed by a 20+-page technical proposal.
4. Other ARPA-E FOAs are wide open to large and small for-profit organizations as well as non-profits, such as educational institutions, federally-funded research and development organizations, and state and local government entities. Larger projects often involve the participation of multiple partners. 
If you have R&D or collaborative projects in the energy space, it might be worthwhile to check out the ARPA-E programs for potential funding. As always BBC is available for answering questions or assisting on proposals.  - Michael Kurek, PhD, BBC Partner
Attention! It's Time to Talk to Your TPOC!
little sallute guy 
The Department of Defense (DoD) pre-released its SBIR 2012.2 solicitation on last April 24 with 11 participating components, including Army, Navy, and Chemical and Biological Defense (CBD) among others. Proposals will be accepted from May 24 to June 27 at 6:00 a.m. ET.  
How does a small business successfully submit a competitive DoD SBIR proposal? Here are five steps to get you started off right:
1. Find the right topic: A simple keyword search on available topics will help you identify the best fit for your project. Just visit the DoD SBIR website, add keywords that best describe the technology you're working on now - or want to work on - and look for relevant matches.
2. Read the selected topic details: Scour through the topic description(s) making note of the Acquisition Program, the Technical Point of Contact (TPOC) or Topic Author, the Objective of the topic, and Phase I and Phase II descriptions.

3. Contact the listed TPOC: Act fast on this. You only have until the solicitation is opened for submission (May 24th) to contact the TPOC, introduce your company and discuss any questions that you may have. Their contact information is listed within each solicitation topic. After May 24, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is not allowed. However, proposers may still submit written questions about solicitation topics through the SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System (SITIS) . In SITIS the questioner and respondent are anonymous and all questions and answers are posted electronically for general viewing until the solicitation closes.

4. Get registered with DoD:  Registration is simple, and
instructions are available on the DoD SBIR website.

5. Work on your proposal: Each DoD component has its own solicitation descriptions, so you'll want to circle back to the DoD site, find the component and read up before you start preparing your proposal. 
For additional assistance, check out the DoD SBIR tutorial and don't hesitate to give us a call at BBC. We can assist you through the entire process and be sure you submit a complete, compelling proposal. Reach us at or 734.930.9741.
NIH SBIR/STTR Conference

The 2012 National Institutes of Health SBIR/STTR conference is set for May 30 - June 1 in Louisville, KY.  


This year's conference "The Changing Face of SBIR/STTR," will offer presentations from NIH program staff and other experts, a poster session providing examples of NIH-funded SBIR and STTR projects, exhibits, and opportunities for one-on-one meetings with staff representing several NIH institutes/centers on May 30 and 31, 2012. 


In addition, a special session and a la carte workshops will be available on June 1, including workshops on Phase I Proposal Development, led by BBC managing partner, Lisa Kurek, Phase II Proposal Development, and Business Valuation of Intellectual Property.

Information and Register

BONUS: Buy two "Regular" registrations in May and the third is FREE! Call 502.499.6478 for instructions.

Coffee Cup Wisdom
"Success is often achieved by those who don't know that failure is inevitable." 
- Coco Chanel

Who we are

BBC is nationally recognized for its expertise in helping technology-based entrepreneurs to win federal grants and contracts through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and to use that funding strategically to propel growth. BBC-assisted proposals have a success rate 2-3 times the national average across several federal agencies. Its clients have been awarded over $100 million in funding since 2002. Through training courses and one-on-one consulting, experienced and passionate BBC staff members guide client companies through the entire entrepreneurial continuum of proposal preparation, grant management, commercialization and business planning, and obtaining follow-on funding.  For more information, email or call us at 734-930-9741.

time  for spring  
It's finally spring, the season of fresh starts!  If you have an active SBIR/STTR project, now is a great time to review your company policies andchecklist procedures to be sure you remain compliant.   BBC Grant and Contract Management Consultant, Kris Bergman, recommends the following areas for an annual review:


1. Policy and procedure development or review 

a. Do you have a written financial policy and procedure document? 
b. Are you following that written guide? 
c. Do you need to make changes or updates to the document? 
2. Time keeping 
a. Are all company members completing timesheets? 
b. Are all company members trained on time-keeping procedures? 
3. Indirect cost analysis 
a. Do your prior year actuals support the indirect cost proposed? 
b. Has a 12-month review been completed? 
4. Record keeping 
a. Are all of the project documents easily accessible: 
Original proposal 
Notice of award or contract 
Just in time responses 
Contracts - sub-award or 
Requests for funds 
- Filed reports 
5. Equipment log

a. Do you know where your equipment is?

b. Has is been disposed of/sold/ replaced? 

A final word from Confucious: "Success depends upon previous preparation. Without such preparation, there is sure to be failure." 
(See Coffee Cup Wisdon below. Confucious and Coco need to get together!)


Read Blog 
just posted

The Keys to Commercialization: a Six-Part Series

by Michael Kurek, PhD, Partner, BBC

Part 4: Tips on Collecting Market Intelligence

Whether you're writing a business plan for an unfamiliar market or simply keeping abreast of the markets you already live in, you should routinely monitor selected information sources for the latest developments. Here are some of BBC's favorite sources of market intelligence:


1. Trade Publications/Trade Associations are invaluable for getting a feel for a particular market, and especially for identifying the companies and the individuals that are the trendsetters. The articles in publications can help you understand how the market defines itself and how it's segmented, and the advertisements suggest how various vendors position themselves strategically.   Read on...
upcoming learn and lead ball
SBIR/STTR 101: Introduction & Overview
Jun 14 - Midland, MI 
SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep for NIH   
Jun 5-6 - Kalamazoo, MI
Jun 6-7 - Chicago, IL 

Webinar Series:
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