The Top Ten Reasons for Colleges and Universities to Apply for SBIR/STTR Support

I recently returned from a national SBIR/STTR conference in Madison, Wisconsin, where I learned a great deal about the SBIR/STTR program and met many participants in the program from companies and academic institutions.  I also met John Davis, a nationally recognized expert in providing training and assistance to businesses interested in developing winning SBIR/STTR proposals.

John and I know each other but never met until last week because he has served as an outside reviewer for Proposal Management, the journal of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals.  I am the Assistant Managing Editor and Chair of the Editorial Advisory Board of the journal.

The US Small Business Administration’s Office of Technology administers the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.  Eleven federal agencies participants in the SBIR program and five agencies are involved in the STTR program.  For more information about these programs, which provide approximately $2 billion in annual support for businesses and academic institutions to turn ideas into commercial products, visit www.sbir/gov.

According to Davis, there are ten good reasons for certain kinds of businesses to pursue SBIR/STTR funding.  His top ten reasons, with slight modifications, also apply to colleges and universities.

  1. These programs fund high-risk, early-stage projects to start or expand certain kinds of academic research.
  2. Awardees can receive funding fairly quickly.
  3. The application process is not too demanding.
  4. Awardees retain full ownership of their technology, data, and intellectual property.
  5. Awardees retain full equity ownership.  The federal government does not become involved in helping run any companies or academic institutions receiving awards.
  6. Awards do not have to be paid back to the federal government, even if the research or commercialization is not successful.
  7. Awardees can receive addition support at no cost.
  8. Phase III awardees can receive sole source contracts from the federal government.
  9. An SBIR/STTR award can build an academic researcher’s credibility in the marketplace and with potential investors.
  10. Awardees can receive cash revenues from their research and the commercialization of their products.

The SBIR/STTR programs help academic researchers turn ideas and knowledge into commercial products.  In many academic institutions, money from grants is turned into knowledge.  In the SBIR/STTR programs, knowledge can be turned into money.

Learn more about the SBIR/STTR programs and see if they are right for the academic researchers in your college or university.

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