sbir

SSTI partners with NSF to bring you latest in funding, entrepreneurial support

We are excited to be partnering with NSF during SSTI’s Annual Conference, Sept.9 through 11 in Providence, Rhode Island, to bring you the latest information and ideas on SBIR/STTR and university/industry partnerships.

Air Force Pitch Days showing signs of early success, 10 more scheduled in 2019

In response to its shrinking industrial base and having identified a gap in its ability to rapidly acquire and deploy innovative technologies, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) recently made some changes to its SBIR/STTR program. The new Pitch Days have already met with success and 10 more Pitch Days have been scheduled in 2019. The USAF expects to make its roughly $660 million of annual SBIR/STTR funding more easily available to a greater number of startup companies, thereby greatly expanding its industrial base, encouraging innovation and small business generation, and filling the innovation void left by the large prime contractors.

NIH releases updated SBIR/STTR success rate data

Are you looking to increase the success rate of your state’s SBIR/STTR proposals? If so, a reminder that applications for the Small Business Administration’s Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program are due next Friday, June 28, at 4 p.m. EDT. This program provides one-year funding to organizations executing programs related to SBIR/STTR outreach, technical assistance, or financial support.

How SBIR/STTR spent $2.7 billion in FY 2016

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released its FY 2016 annual report for the $2.4 billion obligated by the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and $313.6 million by the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The report includes the number and dollar amount of SBIR and STTR awards for each state. New Phase I SBIR awards by agency are summarized in the following table.

SSTI letter to Senate supporting SBA innovation programs

As covered in the last Weekly Digest, the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing on reauthorizing SBA’s innovation programs. SSTI was invited to add to the hearing’s record, and our letter supporting SBIR/STTR pilot programs, FAST and entrepreneurial development programs is produced, below.

Hearing sets stage for Senate to strengthen SBIR

The Senate Small Business Committee held a hearing yesterday on “Reauthorization of the SBA’s Innovation Programs,” which had a heavy emphasis on SBIR/STTR. Earlier in the day, Chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) published a report on business investment, which places many shortcomings of the national economy at the feet of “sharedholder primacy” and calls for policies to incentivize investment by businesses into research and innovation. Among the topics raised during the hearing were making SBIR/STTR permanent, faster contracting, and additional support for innovative companies.

Innovation, broadband, higher education initiatives get state support

Innovation initiatives are seeing increased funding in some states as legislatures across the country begin to finalize budget bills and other legislation. SSTI continues to monitor these developments and this week we cover budget bills in Idaho that saw small increases to the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, as well as increases in the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and STEM Action Center, and new funding for a computer science initiative. South Dakota will see an increase in funding for the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and West Virginia passed bills creating an SBIR/STTR matching grant program, support for community and technical college tuition assistance, expansion of broadband service, and other innovation-related initiatives in its budget that passed earlier in March.

Useful Stats: NSF SBIR Success Rates by State (2008-2017)

The National Science Foundation (NSF), the fifth largest distributor of SBIR awards among federal agencies, received more than 20,000 proposals over the decade long period from 2008 to 2017, approving more than 3,600 (16.8 percent), according to an SSTI analysis of NSF data. NSF SBIR awards are the least concentrated of all federal agencies, as measured by share of awards going to firms with more than 10+ awards.

Can $13M change the distribution pattern for NIH SBIR awards?

A significant majority of SBIR and STTR grants awarded to small businesses from the National Institutes of Health in any given year end up in just a handful of states. For example, the percentage of all 2017 SBIR/STTR awards made to companies in the 23 states and Puerto Rico eligible to participate for funding from NIH’s Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program was only 8 percent – 97 of the 1,218 awards made across all phases of both innovation funding programs.  For comparison, the same states account for 15.8 percent of the estimated U.S. population in 2017. NIH wants to change that discrepancy.

Useful Stats: NIH SBIR/STTR Success Rates by State (2008-2017)

One of the best ways to measure the effectiveness of state programs intended to encourage the success of SBIR applications is the approval-rate of their submissions. Although this data has been historically unavailable across every federal agency, it is now accessible for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the second largest provider of SBIR/STTR awards, according to a 2018 Digest report. The NIH distributed $446.2 million in SBIR/STTR awards in 2017, with every state except North and South Dakota receiving an award. Although California and Massachusetts had the most successful SBIR/STTR applications in 2017, accounting for roughly one-third of the total when combined, neither state ranked among the top 10 in success rate. NIH SBIR/STTR applications in Oregon (29 percent success rate), Vermont (25 percent success rate), and Wisconsin (23 percent success rate) were the most likely to be approved over the ten-year period from 2008 to 2017. Each of these states, as well as many others with high success rates, offer assistance with proposals such as technical support programs and Phase 0 grants.

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