Pursuit REvision
 topAPRIL 2015
The 'Ole One, Two
If you submitted a proposal for the April 5 NIH SBIR/STTR deadline, the fruit of your labors is now wending its way through an exhaustive peer review process. What's happening and how long will it be before you hear anything? Peer review is covered in great detail on the NIH website, so a visit to their Peer Review Process page should be on your to-do list. But, if an abridged version is what you have time for at the moment, read on.

NIH uses a dual peer review system to evaluate SBIR/STTR proposals to ensure that:
  • The grant evaluation process is fair, equitable, timely, and free of bias, and
  • Only the most meritorious scientific proposals are funded. 
The First Review
Once you submit your application, it is sent to the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR), where it is assigned to the appropriate Institute or Center (IC), and to a Scientific Review Officer (SRO) to a study section. The SRO recruits subject expert volunteers (primarily non-federal scientists who have expertise in relevant scientific disciplines and current research areas) who serve on the peer review committee.

Before the peer review meeting, the application is reviewed by several (typically 3) individual members of the study section given a preliminary overall impact score of 1 to 9, with 1 being best and 9 being worst. This preliminary score is used to determine which applications will be discussed by the full group when the committee meets. Reviewers consider and score each of five review criteria -- Significance, Investigators, Innovation, Approach, and Environment -- in assessing scientific and technical merit. Read on

Now Hear This: The NIH Biosketch Requirements are Changing
Number 1 pet peeve encountered by BBCetc consultants reviewing NIH proposal for the just-past April 5 deadline: Biosketches! A number of clients (you know who you are) got to the Biosketches section and switched to automatic, some submitting Biosketches on forms that have long since been revised by NIH. 

But take notice: change is now a must for biosketch compliance as a new, modified biosketch format is required for applications submitted to NIH for due dates on or after May 25, 2015. Biosketch format pages, instructions, samples and FAQs are available on the Biosketches section of the SF424 (R&R) Forms and Applications page.

NIH encourages applicants to use the Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) system to generate their biosketches in the new format. NIH's National Library of Medicine/National Center Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has published a number of resources, such as a video tutorial and user guide, to help you use SciENcv and BBCetc is ready to help as well.

Resubmission of Unfunded NSF Phase I Proposals

Unlike Phase II proposals, NSF allows resubmission of unfunded Phase I SBIR and STTR proposals...but only if "substantial revisions" have been made in response to the reviewer comments. The current solicitations (SBIR closes June 16; STTR closes June 18, 2015) instruct applicants who are preparing a resubmission to include a one-page Supplementary Document entitled "Resubmission Change Description." The document should detail the revisions that have been made to the proposal.

Because the Resubmission Change Description is limited to one-page it will be difficult to provide the details of every revision in this limited space. Therefore, BBCetc advises that clients use the opportunity to "guide" reviewers to the appropriate revisions by:

  1. Listing the major categories of critiques from previous reviewers.
  2. Describing in a general manner how the critiques were addressed.
  3. Identifying where in the revised proposal the appropriate revisions can be found. Read on
New DOD Website Coming Soon
The Department of Defense will launch a new SBIR/STTR website on April 17 at 5 p.m.  According to DOD, the site promises improved user friendliness and ease of submission, with more resources and better tools. 

The current DOD SBIR Resource Center will be shut down at 5 p.m. on the 17th and will no longer be used for proposal submission, which will be done on the new site at https://sbir.defensebusiness.org. INCOMPLETE proposal submissions will NOT be transferred to the new site, so you should complete your submission by April 17 by 5 p.m. ET in this site or postpone starting your submission until the new site is available at 5:00 PM ET on April 17.


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BBCetc Partner Focus
U-M Biomedical Researchers Primed for Successful Partnerships
As part of the U-M Medical School Strategic Research Initiative, the Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) program acts as its front door for commercialization and entrepreneurship, offering external partners integrated access and a proven business development track record. 

Numbering over 3,000, faculty researchers are completely integrated into the larger U-M Health System, allowing potential external partners the opportunity to engage with one of the largest academic clinical health systems in the world.

In 2014, U-M Medical School investigators filed 133 new invention reports, participated in 240+ company agreements, and were involved in over 460 industry-sponsored clinical trials. This activity was supported by a robust enterprise encompassing the entire scientific spectrum, from basic to clinical, and external partners can leverage the strengths of the school's biomedical research organization including...
  • Computational and bioengineering expertise* Core labs and analytical services
  • Data interpretation and analysis
  • Clinical trial and research design
  • Clinical population 
  • And more
FFMI facilitates collaborations with partners across the nation. Interested in collaborating? Learn more at innovation.medicine.umich.edu or contact the FFMI team at ffmioffice@umich.edu.
  abc's of sbir
BBCetc's intro to SBIR/STTR webinar "ABC's of SBIR/STTR Program Goals & Eligibility: Is it for You?" with Lisa Kurek  is now available on YouTube. Check it out and spread the word!
View our videos on YouTube 
  training on tap
SBIR/STTR Proposal Prep for DOD
Apr 20 - Cleveland, OH
Apr 23 - Ann Arbor, MI
SBIR/STTR 101: Intro & Overview
Apr 20 - Newark, DE
Apr 28 - Ann Arbor, MI
Proposal Prep Essentials-NSF, DOD, DOE, USDA
Apr 20-21 - Newark, DE
SBIR/STTR Grant Writing Workshop
May 12-13 - Chicago IL

Apr 22 - Commercialization Planning for NSF
Apr 23 - Policies & Procedures for SBIR/STTR Awardees
May 5 - DOD's SBIR/STTR Program and Current Topics Review
May 19 - Commercialization Planning for DOD
May 20 - How to Prepare a Credible Budget for Your DOD Proposal
May 28 - Forms, Budgets and Electronic Submission for NSF

NIH Spring Regional Conference - May 7-8, Baltimore, MD

National SBIR/STTR Conference - June 14-17, Washington, D.C
Attend Lisa Kurek's SBIR/STTR Overview workshop at the Conference on June 15 - morning and afternoon sessions available!

17th Annual NIH SBIR/STTR Conference 
(Registration opens in May.)
Opens May 16, closes June 16
NSF STTR Ph I 15-545 - Opens May 18; closes June 18

Dept. of Commerce-Nat'l Institute of Standards & Technology 2015 NIST-SBIR-01 Closes May 5

DOD SBIR 2015.2 and STTR 2015.B will pre-release on April 24. Solicitations open May 26 and close June 24.
  free webinar 
SBIR Funding for Educational Technologies
Hear agency experts from NIEHS SRP, EPA, and NSF discuss opportunities for the development of education learning and assistance technologies through SBIR/STTR. Presentations will detail upcoming funding solicitation timelines and program-specific topics.
Wed, April 11, 1-2:30 p.m. ET

  what's a   
The payline is the impact score or percentile ranking at which the likelihood of NIH SBIR/STTR funding goes from high to low. Having a score less than or equal to the payline is a good indication, though not a guarantee of funding; check with the Program Officer indicated on your summary statement. Also, some Institutes/Centers (IC) may skip applications within their payline or reach beyond the payline to fund an application to maintain mission focus, balance portfolios or limit redundancy. Check the relevant IC to see if they have published the payline on their website -- some do, some don't.
who we are
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. BBCetc capabilities include:

> Research Grant 
> SBIR/STTR Training 
> Grants/Contracts 
> Tech-Based Economic 
   Development Programs   
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BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting, LLC

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