Using the DoD Topic Description to do Your Homework
If you are interested in winning SBIR/STTR contracts from Department of Defense, you probably know the importance of talking to the Technical Point of Contact (TPOC) or Topic Author during the "open period" before you write your proposal*. You will want to ask any questions or details about the topic itself, and use the discussion as an opportunity to enhance your insight about the component's interest in the technology and how they will deploy it for military use.
Before you contact the TPOC, you can use the topic description to do some homework that will make your conversation (and your proposal) more productive. Topic descriptions can be found at the DOD SBIR Resource Center. We'll use Navy topic N14A-T010 from the 2014.A STTR solicitation as an example:
*For those of you who are new to their programs, DoD issues each SBIR & STTR as a PRESOLICITATION with topics listed for each participating component. Potential applicants are given about 30 days to contact the Topic Author directly for answers to questions or clarifications before the final SOLICITATION is released. From that time until proposals are due, there can be no direct communication with any of the TPOCs. Read the entire article.
Registration Reminder: Vegetables First,
Whether you're a first timer or an old pro, the requirements for
registering your small business with the various government websites can be as fun as a root canal.
Each of the 11 agencies that participate in the SBIR/STTR funding programs has its own registration requirements; some are the same across agencies and some are altogether different. Instructions about registration requirements are provided in every solicitation, but in the excitement of getting started, most people tend to go for dessert first and avoid the vegetables (reading the instructions).
First Timers: You need to get busy; there is a lot of work to do before you can submit an SBIR/STTR proposal to any of the federal agencies.
Old Pros: Don't rest on your laurels. Certain registrations must be renewed annually.
Right out of the gate, there are four critical registrations that must be completed for all agencies.
- EIN - Employer Identification Number - issued by the IRS
- DUNS - Data Universal Numbering System - issued by Dun and Bradstreet. DUNS verifies the existence of a business entity. D&B assigns DUNS numbers for each physical location of a business.
- SAM - System for Award Management - the official US Government system for collecting any and all organizations receiving funds from the government via grants, contracts, procurement activities, etc.
- SBIR.gov - An official U.S. Government website managed by the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Technology
There is no cost for any of these registrations, not counting the investment of time, which can be anywhere from 2 - 6 weeks for successful completion.
A couple important tips:
- There can be as many as seven log-in IDs and passwords, depending upon the agencies to which you are submitting. Keep a record of this information as the devil's in the details, and starting over is a major hassle.
- Start early and don't rely on the registration site to contact you if there is a problem. You must be patient, as getting things set up takes time, but also proactive if don't get confirmations in a reasonable amount of time. (We never said it made sense!)
Visit BBCetc's website for a handy grid of required registrations by agency and web links for each.
Lockheed Martin Actively Seeks Partnerships through the SBIR Program
By Suzanne Raheb, Corporate Supplier Diversity Leader, Lockheed Martin Corporation
Whether working as a subcontractor or a technology mentor,
Lockheed Martin provides small businesses with various assistance during different phases of their SBIR/STTR projects. This includes supporting technology requirements, evaluation, co-development, and insertion into larger systems.
Lockheed Martin currently partners on more than 50 projects and has centers throughout the U.S. to collaborate with small businesses on SBIR projects. Its Technology Collaboration Centers, located in Washington, DC, and San Diego, CA, provide a collaborative environment for engineers to work closely with small business technologies and the customer community to innovate, experiment, stress and analyze new capabilities and evaluate proposed technology insertions for existing systems.
To help connect small business companies with Lockheed Martin to explore opportunities for partnership and innovation, the company releases an SBIR distribution list during each major Government solicitation period. The listing contains SBIR topics of interest to Lockheed Martin and the technologist's point of contact information. If you would like to be added to the Lockheed Martin SBIR distribution list, email firstname.lastname@example.org
to learn more about the centers as well as how to become a partner on an SBIR project.
Dept. of Education SBIR Phase I and Fast Track Solicitations are Open
The Institute of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education has released Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) for SBIR Phase I and Fast Track proposals. Both FOAs specify a submission deadline of March 24, 2014.
Proposals must address one of two priorities:
- Education Technology Products used by students or teachers (or other instructional personnel) in authentic education settings
- Education Technology Products used by infants, toddlers, or students with or at risk for disabilities, or teachers (or other instructional personnel, related service providers, or family members) in early intervention or special education settings
Fast Track proposals describe both a six-month Phase I feasibility project and a two-year Phase II development project which have maximum awards of $150,000 and $900,000, respectively.
NEW! Feb 20
- SBIR/STTR Registrations: Get Ready to Submit!
- Essentials of Commercialization Planning
- NIH: Forms & Electronic Submission
- SBIR/STTR for Start-ups: Building a Quality Team
- DoD Solicitation Topics and Components
- Submitting to DoD? Learn to Talk the Talk!
- Budget Prep for DoD/DoE Proposals
Getting Ready for Your Phase II NIH Proposal
Feb 25 - Univ.of Michigan North Campus Research Complex, Ann Arbor , MI
SBIR 101: Intro & Overview
Mar 11 - Leap, Inc., E. Lansing, MI
Proposal Prep for NSF
Apr 8 - Leap, Inc., E. Lansing, MI
Save the Date
June 16-18, Washington DC.
NCI PREVENT Program
The NCI PREVENT
Cancer Preclinical Drug Development Program provides resources to advance novel cancer-preventive chemical or biological agents and biomarkers to clinical testing. This partnership with NCI will enable the progression of promising cancer preventive chemical or biological agents (singly or in combination) and biomarkers from the lab to proof-of-concept clinical testing and registration or validation.
The PREVENT Program is a flexible entry-point system that will optimize and test an agent depending on the stage of development, with the goal of filing an Investigational New Drug Application with the U.S. FDA and entering the agent into clinical testing.
The next deadline to apply is March 3, 2014. Learn more
about the NCI Division of Cancer Prevention.
"Thanks for all your help - you certainly pushed us all - in a good way. We were reading through our DOE submission from last year and the quality of this submission is so much higher, truly from your leading us down the correct technical path! No matter what happens with this grant, we are so much closer to "earning" grants in the future because of the skills we have developed..."
BBCetc is nationally recognized for its expertise in helping technology-based entrepreneurs win federal funding through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs and use it strategically to propel growth. Its Michigan clients have been awarded over $120 million in funding since 2002. BBCetc capabilities include:
- Commercialization Planning
- Research Grant Assistance - SBIR/STTR Training
- Grants/Contracts Mgmt.
- Tech-Based Economic