Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Proposal Writing Workshop

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1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Proposal Writing Workshop Dr. Paul Pernambuco Wise Dr. Ken Cheung June 5 th 2013 innovation through engineering and scientific excellence since 1985

2 SBIR /STTR Phase I Phase II Phase III Patents Tibbets Award winner in 1997 and The Tibbetts Award is presented to those small businesses and individuals judged to exemplify the best in the SBIR program, in areas of technical innovation, business impact and social and economic benefit.

3 Agenda Overview of the SBIR program Idea generation and background research Customer Contact Phase I proposal construction Budget development Execution and reporting Phase I to Phase II transition Phase II proposal construction Question and answer

4 SBIR Basics Competitive Federal funding program Domestic small businesses (<500 employees) Fund higher risk technology development Commercialization potential Agencies with extramural research budgets of greater than $100M and $1B for SBIR and STTR, respectively

5 SBIR/STTR* Funding Agencies Department of Agriculture Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology Department of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Department of Defense* Department of Education Department of Energy* Department of Health and Human Services* Department of Homeland Security Department of Transportation Environmental Protection Agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration* National Science Foundation* * Participates in STTR Provides grants

6 How SBIR works 3.2% of extramural R&D budget set aside for SBIR, 0.45% for STTR Three phase program Phase I: up to $150K for proof of concept, technical merit, commercial potential, over 6 9 months Phase II: up to $1M for prototype and demonstration, over 2 years Phase III: commercialization via external funding

7 Idea Generation Understand the problem Look at the latest research see where it succeeded see where it failed What s the bottleneck or roadblock to solving the problem? What new technologies have not been tried yet? Talk with as many experts as you can Informed versus uninformed brainstorming Read, read, read, learn, learn, learn

8 Customer Contact Talk to the customer Understand their relationship to the problem See what roads they ve gone down Show your excitement if you have it Company 60 second elevator pitch

9 Phase I Proposal First Steps, do your homework: Read solicitation carefully Understand the background to the solicitation Understand what is being requested Understand the agency and its priorities Understand the state of the art Understand what you are going to propose DHS SBIR S&T Directorate Open/Released Solicitations Program Release Dates Accepts Proposals Closing Dates 2 Apr Apr May 2013 NSF SBIR 8 Mar May Jun 2013 NSF STTR 8 Mar May Jun 2013 HHS/NIH SBIR/STTR (Grants) Non-AIDS Related Topics PHS Omnibus HHS/NIH SBIR/STTR (Grants) AIDS Related Topics Only PHS Omnibus 25 Jan Mar Jan Mar Apr Aug Dec May Sep Jan 2014 Note the Deadlines NIH SBIR/STTR Special Funding The NIH frequently offers special SBIR/STTR grant opportunities that are not part of their regular omnibus SBIR solicitation. View New & Current NIH SBIR RFAs & PAs Future Solicitations ** dates are subject to change gray cells denote estimated dates Program Release Dates Accepts Proposals Closing Dates DoD SBIR Apr May Jun 2013 DoD SBIR Jul Aug Sep 2013 DoD STTR 2013.B 26 Jul Aug Sep 2013

10 Format Each agency has its own required format. Some of these formats are very similar Things to Note: Page limit Headers/Footers/Font size Maximum time Maximum budget Method of submittal Follow the specific agency format

11 Do s and Don'ts Have a definite idea Idiot check idea first Narrative Keep it readable, spelling and grammar Keep it concise and consistent Highlight the important issues Remember the audience Figures Consistency of formatting Page numbering Headers/Footers Beware of Google Cutting and Pasting and boilerplate References Keep it real Multiple writers/reviewers Standard file format Internally funded research

12 Proposal Outline 1. Proposal Cover Sheet 2. Identification and Significance of the Problem or Opportunity 3. Phase I Objectives 4. Task Outline 5. Phase I Work Plan 6. Related Research 7. Key Personnel 8. Relationship with Future Research 9. Facilities 10. Consultants 11. Commercialization Plan 12. Similar or closely related SBIR Awards 13. References 14. Budget Put together proposal template first

13 Cover Sheet Each Agency is different Some require prior notification of intent to submit Some give a unique proposal number Some require specific statements of company policy Technical abstract Anticipated Benefits/Commercial Applications

14 Identification and Significance of the Problem or Opportunity Introduction set the scene The global problem The specific problem The costs; dollars, time and lives Why is this important? Solution The current State of the Art Where the SoA falls short Ideal solution What you propose to do Why is it innovative? The impact of your solution Punch Out Salient Facts

15 Phase I Objectives The principal objective for the Phase I project is the proof of concept of.. Key Goals are.. We will conduct analysis, design studies and laboratory testing to achieve these goals.

16 Proprietary Information Provide proprietary information on a need to know basis only supply what is necessary for a proper evaluation. Clearly indicate what information is proprietary. If possible, patent/patent pending the idea prior to SBIR proposal submission.

17 Task Outline The scope of the proposed effort is to To accomplish the Phase I objectives the following tasks must be accomplished: Problem analysis Design and performance analysis Laboratory test and simulation Report and documentation Break project down into component parts Be reasonable, don t over/under promise

18 Phase I Work Plan Task 1: Problem analysis Task 2: Design and performance analysis Task 3: Laboratory test and simulation Task 4: Report and documentation Be clear on goals of each task State why the task is being performed Define the criteria for success of each task Predict potential problems and how they would be overcome

19 Phase I Work Plan When is the work to be done? How long will it take? Actual Hours versus Length of Time Month Task # Task Problem Analysis 2 Design and Performance Analysis 3 Laboratory Test and Simulation 4 Reporting Monthly Reports Final Technical Report Deliverables Kickoff meeting (within 30 days of contracting) Progress/financial reports as required by customer Technical review (within 6 months of contract) Final technical report

20 Related Research What has the company or individual worked on previously that is related to this work? What skills does the company now have? What equipment was gained? What impact will this have? How will the work be leveraged? State contract numbers and POC if Federal work.

21 Key Personnel Paul Pernambuco-Wise, Ph. D., Chief Scientist, Oceanit. Principal Investigator Dr. Pernambuco-Wise received his B.Sc. in Physics and Applied Physics from the University of Nottingham in 1983 followed by a Ph.D. in Condensed State Physics from the University of Sussex in England in His previous employment was as Head of Pulse Magnet Research and Development at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, FL. He has over 20 years of research experience in the field of sensor design and implementation, high strength and high conductivity materials development including the preparation and testing of glass and carbon fiber composites, algorithm development, system integration and engineering in extreme environmental conditions. Dr. Pernambuco-Wise has been instrumental in the design of experimental equipment and systems operation in a number of national and international laboratories, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia National Labs and the Australian National Magnet Laboratory. He has designed sensors and experiments to monitor phenomena at the extreme limits of human achievability and has published over 30 refereed journal papers. Dr. Pernambuco-Wise is a citizen of the United Kingdom and a Permanent Resident of the US. He will assist with experimental design and evaluation and contribute 40% of his time to the project. Relevant Publications Include: Is the team qualified? Be clear what each person offers. Watch for ITAR restrictions

22 Relationship with Future Research Need clear idea of where the project is going: How does the work in Phase I connect to the work in Phase II? What will be done in Phase II? How is the success in Phase I essential to Phase II? The Phase I option Preserving continuity

23 Facilities Relevant equipment, offices, labs and infrastructure.

24 Consultants Name and institution, brief bio. Skills, responsibilities, involvement in specific tasks. Be aware of the cost of consultants Attached letter of support

25 Commercialization Plan What will be the product(s) of the work? What is the timeframe? Who is the customer? What is the current and projected market for the product? What/Who are the current competitors for the product? What competitive advantage will you have? How will the product being commercially exploited? Who will it be exploited by? IPO s, investors, spinoffs? What additional resources are needed? What expertise do you have for accomplishing this?

26 Similar or closely related SBIR Awards Title of project. Customer. Contract Number. Technical Point of Contact. Each agency must be made aware of duplicate submissions References

27 Cost Proposal Tips Maximize budget Reduce risk for negotiations Travel Materials, equipment Labor No fee for Phase I ~6% fee for Phase II Get to know DCAA Make friends with contracting officer, specialist KC

28 More Tips 1. Develop a business strategy 2. Make sure you have an innovative idea (Heilmeier Questions) What are you trying to do? What is the state of the art, and its limitations? What is your approach and why is it better? What difference will it make, if it works? How much? How long? Plan? Metrics? 3. Learn the agencies systems, idiosynchrasies 4. Get help HTDC (htdc.org) HTDV sbir.gov, zyn.com 5. Learn how to write a good proposal 6. Do your homework (lit review, past funding, past winners, agency quirks) 7. Network and build relationships (join a frequent flyer program) 8. Look for opportunities to suggest topics 9. Don t give up

29 Review Criteria Significance of the project s objectives. Investigator s experience and knowledge of the subject. Appropriateness of the described methods. Suitability of personnel, facilities and equipment for carrying out proposed work. Overall potential for success. Value if the project does succeed. Completeness of the proposal and professional appearance Response to agency need or requirement Relevance to agency mission Commercialization Plan Budgetary Issues Budget adheres to agency guidelines Overall cost is appropriate for proposed work Sufficient budget justification is provided

30 Failure What to do next Failure is part of the process Contact the agency for a debriefing Use input to re write Look for another customer Never throw the proposal away Save the boilerplate

31 Success Execution and Reporting Don t spend anything until the contract is signed! Level of effort The purpose of Phase I Manage the project consistently Stay on top of the timeline Cost overruns NCE Leveraging funds (Every little helps) Technical point of contact (is your friend) Reports Standardized format On time Reality when things go wrong

32 Phase I to Phase II transition Understand the process Understand your competition Understand your chances Understand what makes you different CJS

33 Phase II Proposal Follow the customer format Added/expanded proposal sections Executive Summary Table of contents Phase I objectives Phase I results and conclusions Phase II objectives and approach The importance of continuity Expanded Budget Technology transition and commercialization strategy Visiting the Customer

34 Questions?

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