Key Features of US SBIR

Here are the key features highlighted in David Connells report “Secrets” of the World’s Largest Seed Capital Fund

  1. Regular solicitations at fixed dates during the year;
  2. Awards directed at the best submissions from across the US; no state or regional quotas;
  3. Complete transparency in terms of topics, awards winners and amounts;
  4. Standard contracts; companies own the intellectual property developed;
  5. Clear linkage to agency R&D interests and priorities; strong focus on commercialisation;
  6. Companies do not have to be established until awards have been won;
  7. 100% funding of all contract costs plus a profit element;
  8. Flexible mechanisms to encourage involvement of academics and support academic spin-outs and technology transfer;
  9. Phased awards to manage risk, typically with $100k for a Phase I feasibility study and 50% of Phase I award winners going on to win a $750k Phase II development award;
  10. Phase III SBIR awards funded from mainstream (i.e. non SBIR budgets), and adding probably as much again to overall federal R&D expenditure on SBIR projects;
  11. Phase III projects bring businesses the opportunity to win valuable sole supplier contracts with federal agencies;
  12. Prime contractors are encouraged to take up SBIR developed products.
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