Learn how incubators can improve your application.
The SBIR/STTR grant application process is extremely competitive and potential applicants are encouraged to be well-prepared before presenting their case. See how incubators and/or lab space providers can be an essential partner to improve your SBIR/STTR grant application.
The Small Business Administration annually facilitates funding programs the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants to partner the United States Federal Government with small businesses enabling research/research and development on the path to commercialization.
SBIR/STTR grants, also referred to as “America’s Seed Fund,” are an organic way to realize commercialization for select high-potential companies seeking assistance. The grant program structure consists of three Phases.
The SBIR/STTR grant application structure consists of several pieces to be reviewed: Abstract and Summary, Specific Aims, Significance, Innovation, Approach, and Other. This Other may include References, Protection of Human Subjects, Facilities and Resources, Budget Justification, Commercialization Plan (Phase II), and Introduction to Revised Application. After planning, consulting, and setting specific goals, a prospective applicant continues with grant creation. An incredible amount of writing and rewriting will be expected during the grant creation process. However, the actual writing is ultimately not as important as precise content presentation.
Once a grant application is submitted, the NIH’s Center for Scientific Review (CSR) assigns a Scientific Review Group (SRG) to assess the content. Jim O’Halloran, President at NeuroComps Systems, Inc. and SBIR grant writer with ScienceDocs with 25+ years of experience, says about 50% of applications are dismissed before discussion due to time and resources, and a low impact score. This creates a tighter competitive pool of candidates, where professional presentation and serious preparation are crucial. Ambitious applicants utilizing experienced resources will have the advantage.
Trusted consultants may:
According to Dr. Molly Schmid, some items that are commonly missing are:
The reviewers know that the “devil is (often) in the details."
Answer these very important questions: What are you going to do? How are you going to do it? What will you measure? How are you going to measure? They want to know that you’ve thought through what you are going to do, how you are going to do it, and what issues may arise.
Molly Schmid, PhD, Senior Consultant, SBDC @ UCI Beall Applied Innovation
Incubators can provide actual numbers for costs such as rent, insurance, and consultant fees. Having actual numbers enhances the cost proposal portion of a Phase I or II submission.
NIH applications get an Environment score. Reviewers want the following questions answered:
Incubators can provide specific details about its unique facility capabilities, scientific equipment, and innovation community available to the applicant by providing a Letter of Support. Reviewers want to be sure that the applicant has access to the necessary equipment and facilities needed to perform the work.
Building a relationship with the future home of your start-up take your start-up from a concept, one-step closer to commercialization. Besides knowing how incubators can improve your SBIR/STTR grant application, find other reasons Why Start-Ups Need Incubators.
Have any other tips to improve your SBIR/STTR proposal? Tell us about them by tweeting @ulpirvine.