NCI SBIR Concept Award

Posted 3/10/21

The NCI SBIR Development Center is excited to introduce a new funding opportunity for early career scientists!



NCI SBIR encourages small businesses developing highly innovative and transformative technologies that have the potential to create new scientific paradigms, establish entirely new and improved approaches to significantly improve cancer research, prevention, detection and care in pediatric and/or rare cancers to apply for the NCI SBIR Innovative Concept Award.

Few salient features of the Innovative Concept Award:

  1. The Innovative Concept award is a NCI Contract Solicitation and Proposals must be received before 5:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time,  July 23, 2021.
  2. Provide $300K in funding to small business to explore technical feasibility and demonstrate proof of concept for the development of highly innovative therapies, diagnostic tools, or preventive strategies focused on pediatric and rare cancers.
  3. Focus is on Innovation and “out of the box” ideas. Review criteria is heavily weighted for innovation
  4. Preliminary data is NOT required, not expected and will not be a review criteria.
  5. Projects are anticipated to have a high risk of failure with concomitant high reward.
  6. Offerors are strongly encouraged  to submit a 2-3 page “white paper” describing their technology and aims for programmatic feedback before March 26th 2021 before submission of final proposal.
  7. Offerors will be expected to participate in the NIH I-Corps program for receiving entrepreneurial training and assistance. Additional funds will be provided for participating companies.
  8. Faster turn-around from proposal submission to award than normal.


Only proposals from eligible small businesses will be considered for award. This size standard is established by law for the SBIR program, regardless of the NAICS Code assigned. To be eligible as a small business, the business concern may have no more than 500 employees, including the employees of its Affiliates. See 13 C.F.R. § 121.702. Other requirements apply, as well – see the SBA’s SBIR Policy Directive for further eligibility requirements –….


You can find more information about this award in the program solicitation. Responses to this solicitation are due by July 23, 2021, 5 p.m. EDT.

Statement of Work

Offerors are encouraged to fill out a Statement of Work document. Please use this fillable form.

More Information

Offerors are invited to submit white papers which will allow the NCI to provide feedback on whether or not the proposed idea falls within the scope of what this solicitation is seeking. More details on this will be included in the solicitation. For more information about this program, please contact Cherie Wells (

Fact Sheet