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SBA Seeks Input on Phase III SBIR/STTR Awards; GAO Reviews VC-Backed SBIR Awardees

December 03, 2014

The Small Business Administration (SBA) released a request for information (RFI) on revisions to two key areas of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) policy directives: SBIR/STTR Phase III policy; and, SBIR/STTR data rights. With regard to SBIR/STTR Phase III Policy, the SBA seeks comments on how to clarify how agencies can make more practical Phase III awards to the small businesses that initially developed the subject technology. In light of recent concerns regarding SBIR/STTR data rights by small business concerns, the SBA seeks comments that provide greater clarity and detail on these issues and recommendations to strengthen the data rights of awardees.  Comments are due January 6, 2015. Read the announcement…

While the SBA is soliciting comments that may lead to more changes to the SBIR program, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that addresses changes to SBIR program policy made in 2013 (see related Digest article) that allows participating agencies to make awards to small businesses majority-owned by multiple venture capital or similar firms (majority-owned portfolio companies). According to the report titled Small Business Innovation Research: Change in Program Eligibility Has Had Little Impact, only two of the 11 agencies participating in the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program—the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Energy (DOE)—opted to open part of their SBIR programs to small businesses that are majority-owned by majority-owned portfolio companies. For fiscal years 2013 and 2014, NIH and DOE collectively received 20 applications from majority-owned portfolio companies and made 12 SBIR awards to them, totaling about $7.9 million. These awards comprise less than 1 percent of those agency’s SBIR applications and awards. Read the GAO report…



sba, sbir, venture capital