Department of Energy Announces SBIR/STTR Changes – WEBINAR

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Webinar Capacity Increased to 500 seats

Big Changes to Dept. of Energy SBIR/STTR Program Announced!

July 29 Webinar Scheduled to Discuss Changes

In an effort to improve commercialization outcomes of the projects funded in their SBIR and STTR programs, as well as improve the administration of the program, the Dept. of Energy has announced several new changes to their Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, effective with their upcoming solicitation.

July 29 WEBINAR – 2:30PM Eastern

To assist companies in learning about this new process, The Center for Innovative Technology’s Federal Funding Assistance Program has coordinated a special webinar to take place on Friday, July 29, from 1-2:30PM Eastern. The webinar will be led by Carl Hebron, SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator at DOE. The webinar will be free, but advance registration required in order to receive the Log-In information!  Go to www.cit.org/events to register.

Some of the upcoming changes that will be featured in this webinar include:

  • Issue two annual SBIR/STTR Phase I FOAs beginning in FY 2012 (This year)
    • Early posting of topics
    • Letters of Intent require
    • Limits on the number of applications
  • Increased emphasis on commercialization plans in Phase I and Phase II applications
  • Increase in the STTR maximum award amounts for Phase I and Phase II

Issue two annual SBIR/STTR Phase I FOAs: The biggest change for FY 2012 is that DOE will begin to issue two annual SBIR/STTR Phase I FOAs.  DOE will split their topics into two FOAs.  The first FOA, designated Release 1, will have topics funded from the Office of Science and will be posted in early August and close in mid-September.  The second FOA, designated Release 2, will have topics funded from the remaining DOE program offices and will be posted in early December and close in mid-January.  The primary purpose for splitting their topics into two FOAs is to enable DOE to process applications more efficiently thereby reducing the time between the close of the FOA and the start of the grant period for awardees.

To provide applicants with additional time to develop solutions to the opportunities presented in the topics, DOE will begin posting topics early on their website in advance of the FOA being posted on grants.gov. The topics for FY 2012 Release 1 are available now and can be found here:  http://science.energy.gov/sbir/.    After the topics are available and before the FOA is posted, you may directly contact the DOE Technical Topic Manager listed in the topic descriptions.  After the FOA is posted, you will be required to use FedConnect to communicate your questions about individual topics.

To speed up application processing DOE will also require Phase I applicants to submit letters of intent in advance of their full proposals. Applicants will be asked to include a technical abstract and list of collaborators in the Letter of Intent so that DOE program managers can begin the process of identifying reviewers for your proposal.   This will enable DOE to begin the review process soon after the close of the FOA.

Finally a limit of 10 applications by a small business to each Phase I FOA will be imposed.

Increased emphasis on commercialization plans: DOE requires that commercialization plans be submitted with both Phase I and Phase II proposals.   Although this requirement occurs very early in the development cycle, DOE wants to insure that applicants are committed to commercializing the technologies they develop under DOE SBIR and STTR awards.  Beginning with FY 2012 FOA Release 1, Phase I applications that lack a commercialization plan will be administratively declined without technical proposal review.

Beginning in FY10, DOE also instituted a more rigorous commercial potential review of Phase II applications.  These reviews, independent of the technical merit reviews, focus exclusively on the Phase II commercialization plans and are conducted by reviewers experienced in technology commercialization.  Beginning in FY 2012, Phase II applications with commercialization plans that are rated poorly, independent of their technical merit review scores, will not be eligible for funding.  It is therefore important that applicants provide compelling commercialization plans to support their applications.  Please note, all DOE Phase I awardees are eligible for commercialization assistance from DOE’s commercialization consultant Foresight S&T and should give serious consideration to participating in the DOE commercialization assistance program soon after award.

STTR award amounts: Beginning with FY 2012 FOA Release 1, DOE will increase the maximum size of STTR award amounts to $150,000 for Phase I and $1,000,000 for Phase II.  This will make the SBIR and STTR maximum award amounts equivalent.

COST: FREE, Advance Registration Required.

Questions: Robert Brooke, Director, Federal Funding Programs, CIT robert.brooke@cit.org

REGISTER: ADVANCE REGISTRATION Required in order to receive the Log-In information. To register for the July 29 WEBINAR, go to www.cit.org/events and click on the “Dept of Energy SBIR/STTR Program Changes” WEBINAR link.

This webinar is sponsored in part by a grant with the US Small Business Administration.

Robert Brooke
Director, Federal Funding Programs
Center for Innovative Technology
2214 Rock Hill Road, Suite 600
Herndon, Virginia 20170