What Are SBIR and STTR?
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and its sibling, the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, are federal initiatives that provide over $2 billion in grants and contracts each year to small and start-up companies to develop new or enhanced products and services based on advanced technologies. About 33% of the SBIR Phase I awards made each year go to firms with no prior SBIR experience, so there are plenty of opportunitiesfor you to get a portion of this funding pie!
The SBIR and STTR programs are unique in that they must be periodically “reauthorized” by Congress, or they will die. The most recent reauthorization occurred in late 2011, which extends the programs through Federal fiscal year 2017. The 2011 reauthorization contains many changes to the SBIR and STTR programs, and the implementation process and content is still evolving. .
We have been advocates of SBIR and STTR since their origination because we saw the value and opportunity for small and start-up companies to get much needed capital for technology-based product development without the need to repay or give up equity for it.
Gail and Jim Greenwood have been active in making firms aware of the opportunity, teaching them how to write competitive technical and cost proposals for funding and offering individuals assistance including draft proposal reviews and brainstorming on proposal strategy and content. They have now taught thousands of entrepreneurs in 48 states and Puerto Rico . Sponsors of these workshops include Federal Laboratories, Universities and Colleges, and Small Business Development Centers . They also are regular instructors of Phase I and Phase II proposal preparation workshops at national and regional conferences. An evaluation of the effectiveness of their training showed that over 90 percent of the workshop attendees indicated that the Greenwoods had improved their ability to compete for SBIR and STTR awards. One region surveyed its SBIR/STTR competitors after the Greenwoods had offered multiple workshops there, and learned that the SBIR/STTR proposal success rate was almost 50% (compared to about 17% nationally for Phase 1 proposers). Additionally, the Greenwoods have critiqued hundreds of SBIR and STTR proposals for firms throughout the United States.
A directory that the Greenwoods developed of New Mexico firms winning SBIR and STTR awards earned them the Tech/Cellence Award from Project SBIR West. In 1996, they received a prestigious Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration for their contributions in SBIR counseling and training. They also have been acknowledged by Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories and Project SBIR West for their contributions to the SBIR program. They originated the “SBIR/STTR Matrix,” which shows at a glance how these programs differ among the 11 participating Federal agencies. In 2013, they were designated as "champions of small business" by the Small Business Technology Council for their efforts during the latest reauthorization.
The Greenwoods have served as reviewers for the U.S. Army’s Quality Awards, which recognize the SBIR/STTR projects with the greatest commercial (private and/or military) potential. Jim Greenwood also has served as a commercialization reviewer for Phase I, II and IIb SBIR/STTR proposals at the National Science Foundation. Gail Greenwood served as a statewide coordinator and board member on the Project SBIR West Regional Council. The Greenwoods have provided briefings and training on the SBIR/STTR programs atnational conferences of the Association of Small Business Development Centers and the National Business Incubation Association; and at workshops for employees of Sandia, Lawrence Livermore, and Los Alamos National Laboratories considering spinning off technology companies.
Greenwood Consulting Group, Inc. offers the following services related to the SBIR/STTR programs:
1. Training. In addition to customized workshops and seminars, GCGI offers the following one-day workshops. Attendees of most GCGI day-long workshops receive a critique of one of their SBIR or STTR proposals at no charge.
a. Phase I Overview and Proposal Preparation. Learn the basics of SBIR/STTRand how the programs have changed recently, then prepare to discover asimple and logical 4-step process to preparing a competitive Phase ISBIR/STTR proposal.
b. Phase II Proposal Preparation. Already have a Phase I award? Then you needto get ready to submit your Phase II proposal! Learn how Phase II is differentfrom Phase I, and how to put the Phase II proposal together. Special attention is paid to the all-important commercialization aspect of the Phase II plan and proposal.
c. Cost Proposal and Government Accounting. Prepare to wade through and actually make sense out of the perplexing world of the SBIR/STTR cost proposal, and how to keep records to the government's satisfaction when youwin an SBIR award. We show you how to develop an indirect rate, we talk about what to expect in the way of government audits, and help you with government accounting terminology. While aimed at SBIR/STTR competitors, this is a one-of-a-kind workshop that has proven valuable for any applicant for or recipient ofgovernment contracts and grants.
d. The Business Side of SBIR. This workshop helps the attendee to put an SBIR project into the proper context of their business. Does the project support the company's mission and goals? Is the project priced to ensure full recovery of the company's cost in performing the work? What is the most logicalcommercialization path for bringing the SBIR technology to the market place? These and many similar issues are discussed.
e. Commercialization Workshop. This workshop, by way of an example, leads attendees through a process of deciding if a commercialization opportunity exists, determining the best way to exploit it, and presenting it all in an SBIR/STTR commercialization plan
Check out Conferences for a list of places and dates where we are offering these workshops in the near future.
2. In House Training. Some of our clients have discovered the value of hosting customized training in house for the exclusive benefit of their employees and managers. We custom tailor the training to your company to ensure maximum relevance to your interests and needs.
3. Consulting & Proposal Reviews. We will not write your SBIR/STTR proposal for you, but we can provide services ranging from initial proposal strategizing and brainstorming to critiquing your draft proposal. Contact us for the price for a Phase I SBIR/STTR proposal review and a Phase II SBIR/STTR proposal review. If you are interested inhaving us do a review of your SBIR/STTR proposal, or to inquire about other consulting services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Outreach Efforts. We have supported SBIR/STTR outreachinitiatives by state and local governments, Federal labs, SBDC's, and others. In addition to training an consulting, we have conducted topic searches for SBIR/STTR clients, and developed a user manual so companies can do their own searches. If you want us to "train you trainers" regarding how you can help companies with their SBIR/STTR proposal preparation, then we've done that too.
5. Helpful Literature. We have developed, thanks to support from Sandia and Los Alamo National Laboratories, an "SBIR/STTR Matrix" that summarizes in simple table for how each agency's SBIR and STTR program differs from the others. We also maintain list of sample agenda for the aforementioned training workshops- this is a nice guide if your organization is thinking of sponsoring an SBIR/STTR training event. And of coursewe can provide an extensive list of references for whom we have done SBIR training, proposal reviews and consultation. Just shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com if you are interested in receiving any of this information.
Why Should Your Organization Sponsor SBIR/STTR Training?
If you provide training, encouragement, or counseling to technology-based entrepreneurs and small businesses, then there are a number of reasons why your organization should consider hosting one or more of our SBIR/STTR workshops.
1. Help new and emerging businesses get critical funding to jump start technology and innovative based products and services
2. Help existing SBIR and STTR winners become more successful in these programs, and therefore build stable companies that diversify your economy and create high quality jobs
3. Help your organization identify technology companies for your future collaboration or assistance.
4. Identify opportunities for local universities or federal laboratories to collaborate with industry
5. Help train SBDC personnel, university technology transfer staff, and others to provide assistance toSBIR/STTR clients
6. Help local firms learn how to sell results of SBIR/STTR projects to federal agencies like the Department of Defense and NASA.
SBIR/STTR Alerting Service Proposal Writing Tips: Articles
GCGI was a contributing author to the SBIR/STTR Alerting Service, an email newsletter provided before 2014 by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Greenwood Consulting Group, Inc. now publishes the SBIR/STTR Alerting Service Proposal Writing Tips. Each month, we prepare a brief, two-page article on some aspect of preparing Phase I or II SBIR/STTR proposals. To subscribe to the free SBIR/STTR Alerting Service, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. To see the extensive list of our proposal tips that we have written since 1999, check out our ARTICLES page.
Link to SBIR Websites
All 11 Federal agencies that participate in SBIR (and the 5 in STTR) have websites -- among other goodies, you'll find lists of topics on which they would welcome your proposal, and instructions you must carefully follow in your submission. Also, check out the website of the U.S. Small Business Administration for additional valuable information about SBIR and STTR.
AGENCY INTERNET ACCESS:
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) https://sbir2.st.dhs.gov/portal/SBIR/
Getting on our E-mail Broadcast
Want to be on our E-mail broadcast list to be notified whenever we are offering one of our SBIR workshops? Want a copy of the SBIR matrix or our brochure that summarizes the content of our SBIR and STTR workshops? Want to ask about hosting an SBIR workshop in your area? Would you like to be on our email list to receive our monthly SBIR/STTR proposal writing tips? Drop us a quick email below.