Feds Focus on SBIR/STTR

April 24, 2019

In April, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) made two major announcements related to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. First, SBA released its 2019 SBIR/STTR Policy Directives which include provisions to strengthen the programs, specifically Phase III and data rights. Second, SBA announced a 16-stop road tour to highlight the successes of the SBIR/STTR programs in connecting entrepreneurs working on advanced technology to the country’s largest source of early stage funding.

SBIR/STTR Policy Directives

NSBA’s high-tech arm, the Small Business Technology Council reported on the policy directives highlighting language on data rights, which has been a point of contention between agencies, which want a firm clear timeline for when data rights expires, and SBIR firms, who worry that if data rights expire too soon, they could lose their competitive advantage before their technology is fully commercialized.  When SBA first proposed a 12-year data rights protection period, SBTC objected and argued that a 12-year period is insufficient given the length of time it takes many SBIR firms to develop their technologies.  In the new policy directives, SBA extended that period to 20 years, which starts with the SBIR funding agreement.

Phase III preference has also been strengthened for SBIR firms, and clarifying language has been added to make sure sole source awards are awarded to SBIR firms for Phase III work where applicable. Please click here for more details. The new policy directive revisions will into effect May 2, 2019

SBIR Road Tour

The SBIR Road Tour will kick off late-May where each stop will be hosted by a local organization involved in supporting entrepreneurs in next generation R&D. Program managers from the participating federal agencies will conduct one-on-one meetings with small businesses, take part in targeted panels, discuss technology areas, and share insights into how the agencies make funding decisions.

The SBIR/STTR programs are highly successful in bringing new technologies to market, and provide over $3 billion in early stage funding to small businesses each year in a wide variety of technology areas such as unmanned systems, advanced materials, health, cybersecurity and defense.

Please see below the schedule for the SBIR Road Tour:

  • The Central Plains Tour will run from May 20-24, with stops in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Kansas City, Kansas; Des Moines, Iowa; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Fargo, North Dakota.
  • The Southwest Tour will run from August 12-16, with stops in Tucson, Arizona; El Paso, Texas; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Boulder, Colorado.
  • The Eastern Tour will run from September 16-20, with stops in Burlington, Vermont; Albany, New York; New Brunswick, New Jersey; State College, Pennsylvania; and College Park, Maryland.
  • Finally, the SBIR Road Tour will stop in Miami, Florida on November 13 and in Puerto Rico on November 15.

Click here to learn more.