SBIR Insider - June 2, 2019
Dear SBIR Insider,
This is primarily an important DoD SBIR good news update, and we also have some information for SBIR/STTR newbies and support organizations for all 11 agencies.
DoD Opens 19.2 SBIR and 19.B STTR
After a horrible start to the DoD 19.2/B prereleases, the DoD appears to be back on track as of May 31, 2019.
Our advice is to forget about the files DoD furnished via FedBizOpps (they were from May 2, 2019 and had no updates for the entire prerelease period), and start fresh from the DoD's SBIR site at https://sbir.defensebusiness.org/† You will find all the topics and instructions in updated form as of May 30, 2019, the Topic Search is working, and so is the SITIS system for communication with the TPOCS.
By our count more than 30 changes have been made since the original prerelease, (which were unreported to you until May 31) including 5 topics removed, as well as many topic and instructions language changes.
An easy way to quickly see which ones had changes is to go to https://sbir.defensebusiness.org/topics/instructions and you'll see (under DoD Instructions) links for a list of modifications for both SBIR and STTR. Also, all the Word files under "Component Instructions" have the updated component instructions and topics for that component.†
NOTE: Here's something neat for many Air Force topics (added after the prerelease):† "Under PH III in the topic description, look for the statement: "Lockheed Martin is interested in a possible transition of this technology. Awardees of a Phase I should contact the AF SBIR/STTR Program office at [email address redacted..] to obtain the Lockheed Martin Point of Contact for this topic."† (Sorry to sound redacted like "Barr vs Muller", but we didn't want the Air Force contact to get junk mail).
The due date for the DoD SBIR/STTR 19.2/B remains unchanged at Monday, July 1, 2019 at 8:00 PM ET.† It is suggested that you don't wait till the last minute to submit your proposal.†
Air Force: AFWERX Errata
In the last SBIR Insider we told you about the AFWERX program and about some Air Force topics AFWERX have in the now open DoD SBIR/STTR.†
We (actually I..) inadvertently left out one topic, and that was an STTR topic.† So to repeat (in case your memory is as bad as mine) here's the complete title information for AFWERX topics:
AF192-001 TITLE: Open Call for Innovative Defense-Related Dual-Purpose Technologies/Solutions with a Clear Air Force Stakeholder Need
AF192-D001 TITLE: Direct to Phase II Open Topic: Open Call for Innovative Defense-Related Dual-Purpose Technologies/Solutions with a Clear Air Force Stakeholder Need
AF19B-T001 TITLE: Open Call for Science and Technology Created by Early-Stage (e.g. University) Teams
A big thank you for catching the omission to one of our "special" SBIR Insider readers who is, and has been a major SBIR/STTR resource to the program for many years.†
SBA Funding Opportunities for Federal and State Technology Partnerships (FAST)
Many of our readers, especially those newer to SBIR/STTR utilize the services of outreach and assistance organizations that have partial, but important funding from SBA.† One of the more prominent examples of this funding comes from SBA's Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program.†
FAST funding helps assist many state organizations do outreach and training, including seminars for small businesses wanting to get involved in SBIR.†
This is a little known fact, and it predates FAST, but ultimately (years later) led to the idea of a FAST program.† Many years ago, an SBA person in San Diego heard of some people trying to put together a small businesses with new promising technologies.† The SBA rep heard about this and reached out to these folk telling them about this new program, SBIR. Armed with this new information from SBA, SBIR became a springboard for this new company named Qualcomm!† Yes, it got off the ground with a type of SBA outreach for SBIR.
The new FAST Grant solicitation hit the streets May 24, 2019 and closes June 29, 2019.† I know we have quite a few FAST awardees who read this publication, and I wanted to help spread the word.† The applying organization must be supported by the state's governor or his/her representative.† Details at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=316333
A personal note: The state organizations including those benefiting from FAST, are mostly excellent in helping you get off the ground, learning how to participate and compete in SBIR.† They also provide seminars and refresher courses.† However, they should not be confused with those private sector organizations/consultants who provide direct, personalized and high level SBIR/STTR support to small businesses.† These private sector organizations come in many flavors and prices depending on how far into the weeds you want them to go.† Most of them are very good, but like anything else there are a few charlatans.† Do your research and make sure you understand the terms and depth of the assistance services offered.
SBA Growth Accelerator Fund Competition (GAFC)
SBA is seeking to identify the nation's most innovative and promising small business accelerators and incubators that work with high tech entrepreneurs that are potential SBIR or STTR program applicants.†
This Competition will recognize the nationís most innovative accelerators (as well as incubators, co-working startup communities, or other similar models) and award these organizations cash prizes.† In 2019, SBA will award up to 60 prizes of $50,000 each for a total of $3 million in prizes under this announcement.
Further details available at https://www.sbir.gov/accelerators
SBIR/STTR Outreach Activities, All Agencies
First and most prominent is the upcoming National SBIR Conference June 17-18 in Boston, MA (see https://techconnectworld.com/SBIRSpring2019/).† I hope to see some of you there.†
For those of you in the Southwest who can't travel to Boston, the SBA's SBIR Road Tour will visit 4 places in August.† They are Tucson, AZ Aug 12; †El Paso, TX Aug 13; Albuquerque, NM Aug 14; and Boulder, CO Aug 16.†
The Road Tour will visit the Eastern states in September.†
SBTC to Host its 2019 Champion of Small Business Technology Commercialization Awards
The Small Business Technology Council (SBTC) will host their Champion of Small Business Technology Commercialization Awards program June 11, 2019 at the Senate Small Business Committee Hearing Room, 428A, Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC.†
The awards honor some of best Program Managers, Contracting Officials, PEOs, and government officials for their work in helping SBIR/STTR companies commercialize their technologies.
For details visit https://sbtc.org/2019-sbtc-washington-meeting/
We're hearing of potentially "unfavorable" legislation being hammered out in the House that may negatively affect SBIR funding.† Congress is also working on the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as we speak.†
The NDAA is often a vehicle for important SBIR legislation since this is a "must pass" bill.† However, it goes through several incarnations even after the time the House and Senate pass their own versions.† Then the bills go to "conference" where both bodies have to work out their differences and consolidate them into one homogeneous bill (not an easy task).
In the mean time there have been a few, and probably will be more stand alone SBIR bills introduced.† Although we must stay aware of these, Jeff Bergner, author of "The Vanishing Congress" made an interesting observation that Congress introduces about 12,000 bills per 2 year congressional term, and after all is said and done only about 2% actually get passed.†
With that in mind, and considering all the negativity on the Hill, the caustic relationship between the House, Senate and the Administration, along with a host of other things, my impression is this Congress is more poised to pass gas than effective legislation.†
Kidding aside, my fear is that the budgets won't be done on time, and in addition to possible shutdowns, we face the likelihood of living on short term CRs after September 30, 2019 to keep afloat.† That's a real killer for the SBIR program, but we've made it through before.†
The good news is that the program is still alive and well through Sept 30, 2022.† Stay tuned.†
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