The SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program was mandated by Congress to provide research and development support to small technology-focused businesses to stimulate the conversion of prototype technologies into commercial products.
American and independently owned, American based companies with fewer than 500 employees. The company must be for profit with the principal researcher employed by the company.
The company must have its principal place of business located in the United States and at least 51% owned or in the case of a publicly owned business, at least 51% of its voting stock is owned by United States citizens or lawfully admitted permanent resident aliens.
The agencies seek technical assistance in hundreds of topic areas including but not limited to: Lasers, Optics, Sensors, Innovative Software, Operating Systems, Materials, Composites and missile launch systems, catalytic energy, fuel cell energy, etc.
The Agencies have working groups monitor and assess technical needs. Topics are suggested, reviewed and approved for those areas where technical assistance is desired.
Proposals are accepted only during the solicitation periods. Solicitation schedules can be found on the Federal SBIR website: www.sbir.gov, on the SBIR Gateway website: www.zyn.com or by using the individual agency websites. During the Phase I solicitation period, all firms that meet eligibility requirements may submit a proposal.
The program consists of 3 phases. During Phase I, the awarded small business tests the scientific, technical, and commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed technology. During Phase II, the awarded small business strives to develop the proposed technology into a prototype. Phase III is essentially a post-SBIR period, during which the small business is expected to seek avenues for commercialization of the developed prototype.
For Phase I, two-thirds of the research and/or analytical effort must be performed by the proposing firm, and for Phase II, a minimum of one-half of the research and/or analytical effort must be performed by the proposing firm. Solicitation guidelines by each Agency cover the requirements and regulations in detail. The percent of work is usually measured by both direct and indirect costs. Proposal writers planning to subcontract a significant fraction of their work should verify how it will be measured with their contracting officer during contract negotiations. The individual Agency solicitation guidelines cover the requirements and regulations in detail.
This period opens 60 days prior the actual solicitation start date. During the Pre-Solicitation phase companies can review the topics that most likely will be included in the solicitation and call topic authors to further discuss the topics. Once the solicitation opens, there can be no direct conversations with topic authors.
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