Small Business Innovation Research & Small Business Technology Transfer. Henry Ahn. SBIR/STTR Program Director The National Science Foundation

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1 Small Business Innovation Research & Small Business Technology Transfer Henry Ahn SBIR/STTR Program Director The National Science Foundation

2 Agenda SBIR/STTR Overview NSF SBIR Stats NSF SBIR within NSF (Org Chart) NSF SBIR/STTR Program Specifics Unique Features of NSF SBIR What We Fund/Do Not Fund Review Process Tips on Strengthening Proposal

3 WHAT IS THE NSF SBIR/STTR PROGRAM? Photo Credit: Graphene Frontiers, LLC

4 Congressionally mandated program Overarching aim is to help build a strong national economy Goals include: stimulating technological innovation in the private sector increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results SBIR began at NSF in the 1970 s STTR added in 1992 The SBIR/STTR Program Currently 11 federal agencies participate

5 The NSF: SBIR/STTR at NSF A federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, currently with a $7.5 billion budget NSF SBIR/STTR: An approximately $190 million program that aims to catalyze the commercialization of high-risk technological innovations Funds roughly 400 companies each year

6 Resources Available ($) SBIR De-risks Later Investments --Phase I Phase II Supplements----- Industry Valley of Death Investors Academia Discovery Development Commercialization 6

7

8 SBIR v. STTR Special STTR Requirements Cooperative research agreement between small business and university/non-profit research institution in place to protect intellectual property A minimum of 40% of budget allocated to the small business; a minimum of 30% of the budget goes to the university/non-profit research institution; the remaining 30% can be distributed as appropriate for the project SBIR 2/3 of budget allocated to the small business

9 Program Stats (Past 3 Years) Phase I: ~16% funding rate Phase II: ~39% funding rate About Phase II companies are acquired each year About half of all Phase II grantees raise significant thirdparty funding during the Phase II award as a direct result of their NSF research (~ $60 million cumulative per year)

10 Grants That Go Beyond Funding Recipients receive training and mentorship in key business areas Connection to other small companies performing innovative R&D Winning an SBIR/STTR award signals success to investors, partners and customers

11 QUESTIONS? SBIR WITHIN NSF Photo credit: Navillum Nanotechnologies, Inc. Photo Credit: Graphene Frontiers, LLC

12 1

13 Office of the Assistant Director Grace Wang (Acting) Deputy Assistant Director Barry Johnson (Acting) Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) Graciela Narcho (Acting)

14 Academic Cluster Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) Prakash Balan Innovation Corps (I-Corps) Lydia McClure Steven Konsek Industry & University Cooperative Research Program (I/UCRC) Raffaella Montelli Partnerships for Innovation: Accelerating Innovation Research (PFI-AIR) Barbara Kenny Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI-BIC) Alexandra Medina-Borja IIP Division Director & Acting Deputy Assistant Director, Directorate for Engineering Barry W. Johnson SBIR/STTR Program Senior Program Director Other Topics (OT) Ben Schrag Advanced Manufacturing & Nanotechnology (MN) Rajesh Mehta Advanced Materials and Instrumentation (MI) Debasis Majumdar Biological Technologies (BT) Ruth Shuman Biomedical (BM) Technologies Henry Ahn Education Applications And Technologies (EA) Glenn Larsen Chemical and Environmental Technologies (CT) Prakash Balan, Anna Brady- Estevez Electronic Hardware, Robotics and Wireless Technologies (EW) Murali Nair Information Technologies (IT) Peter Atherton Semiconductors(S), Photonic (PH) Devices/Materials and Internet of Things (IoT) Rick Schwerdtfeger Smart Health (SH) Jesus Soriano AAAS Fellow, SBIR/STTR Eric Keys AAAS Fellow, I-Corps Joe Bonivel AAAS Fellow, I/UCRC Joe Kliegman Acting IIP Division Director & Deputy Division Director Gracie Narcho Program Support Manager Mary Konjevoda Program Analyst Carl Anderson Program Analyst Dawn Patterson Program Analyst Miki Templeton Contract Staff Pathways Intern Paul Shiller Operations Specialist Greg Misiorek Communications Specialist Kelly Monterroso

15 PROGRAM SPECIFICS Photo credit: DeviceFarm

16 Must be a Small Business Qualifications: Set up as a for-profit organization Has 500 or fewer employees (including affiliates) Located in the US >51% owned and controlled by US individuals (citizen or legal resident)

17 What s Different about NSF SBIR NSF won t buy anything from you We don t identify the application or technology space You identify the market need and propose a tech-based solution Broad program topics cover almost every area of technology: Educational Technologies & Applications Information Technologies Semiconductors and Photonic Devices & Materials Internet of Things Electronic Hardware, Robotics & Wireless Technologies Advanced Manufacturing & Nanotechnology Advanced Materials & Instrumentation Chemical & Environmental Technologies Biological Technologies Smart Health and Biomedical Technologies Topic fit is much less important than meeting the technical and commercial requirements of the solicitation

18 R&D to overcome significant technical hurdles Novel, proprietary What We Fund Prove feasibility/viability of a new product, process or service High technical risk, early-stage development A significant commercial opportunity Game-changing technology in the chosen market/application space Product-market fit validated by customers/partners

19 What We Don t Fund Basic research (i.e., research with the primary goal of knowledge creation) Incremental (evolutionary) improvement to an existing product or service Projects where: There is no strong chance of commercial success NSF funding can t make a big impact on the company s prospects Analytical or market studies of existing technologies or products/services

20 LOGISTICAL INFORMATION Photo Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

21 Basic Application Information Applications require written proposals responding to a solicitation (solicitations released 90 days before the submission deadline) Deadlines in June and December Submitting a proposal to NSF does not constitute a public disclosure. All information is treated as confidential, and proprietary details may be marked. Proposals are reviewed by technical and commercial experts; process may last 4-5 months Awards begin about 6 months from submission

22 Strengthening NSF SBIR Application Innovative product with significant societal impact Strong evidence that the technology works as intended Understanding of the market potential, customers and commercialization strategy Support letters from potential partners, customers or investors Strong management team/advisory board Communication with PD s strongly encouraged

23 Seed funding for high technical risk, high return innovations Focus is on commercialization important even at Phase I NSF is not a customer you identify the market need Funding is only for R&D you will need money beyond NSF funding Pivots are OK, but must be evidence-based Don t stress over submission topic or sub-topic Communicate with the Program Director Start early! Key Takeaways

24 THANK YOU Contact Us: Henry Ahn

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