While the Nation Slept: The Struggle of Small Innovative Businesses in the U.S. (Mascot Books) spotlights the U.S. government’s efforts to assist small innovative businesses, particularly those engaged in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.Read More
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ReliAscent would like to remind our clients and all contractors that this year's National SBIR/STTR Conference will be held in Washington, DC, on May 23-25.Read More
With the re-authorization of the SBIR/STTR program in the 2012 Defense Authorization Bill, there are now more requirements on awardees relative to commercializing their work. The problem of translating a good technical theory into a marketable product has long plagued business. The old adage that “if you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door” is simply not true. By the same reasoning, just because you have a solid technology doesn’t mean the market will buy it. That is where marketing comes in. In our world today, people buy products and services not only because they need them but because they have a desire to have it. That desire is usually built by marketing. For instance, 40 years ago, nobody had a computer and didn’t see a need for one. Then, thru marketing, people were convinced that they needed to have a computer in their home. Why? At the time, there was not an internet and the main reasons to have this computer were mostly desire to have the product. Then, about 10 years ago, we were told we need to have a computer with us at all times. Who would have thought, in 1985, that within 30 years everyone would have a computer in their pocket. Yet today, there are probably more computers in pockets than there are PC’s.
The annual National SBIR/STTR Conference is schedule for June 16 thru 18 in the Washington DC area (National Harbor, MD). I think it is worth talking about here in the blog. this venue is an excellent chance for small businesses to learn more about the program and to enhance their chances for success in winning awards from the various agencies that participate.
There is no question that as the Federal Budget goes down, all aspects will probably follow suit. But all is not lost. The government is still the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world. Yes, the defense budget is taking a severe hit. As the overall budget goes down, the R&D portion of the budget will suffer. This will affect the money available for the SBIR and STTR programs as they are a percentage of the extramural R&D budget of the agency. While the Defense budget is highly scrutinized (because it makes up the largest part of the Federal Budget it only makes sense) there are other areas of the Federal Budget that are not seeing severe cuts. There are parts of the Energy budget that are in fact growing. There are some areas in HHS that also are not heavily affected. These areas represent some opportunities for some small businesses, especially related to the SBIR/STTR programs.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released their Omnibus SBIR/STTR solicitation this week. There are several agencies within HHS that have topics including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). The NIH is the only participating organization with a budget large enough to qualify for STTR awards so the NIH can give out either SBIR or STTR awards. The other organizations will only be issuing SBIR topics. The earliest submission date will be March 5th, 2013 and the solicitation will remain open until January 8th, 2014. As many of you are aware, the HHS has the second largest SBIR budget of the 11 agencies that fund SBIR topics. You can find the solicitation here.
ReliAscent recently attended, exhibited and presented at the National SBIR/STTR conference in Portland, OR. One of the most valuable things for small businesses was the One-on-One sessions with SBIR Federal Agency Managers and the Speed Networking with the same individuals. For those of you that weren't able to attend, you should strongly consider attending this conference next year; just for this opportunity. You can discuss the agency needs, how it aligns with your capabilities, the specifics of how to best find partners and how to apply for these grants and awards.