5 Things You Should Know: SBIR/STTR Programs

Beyond set-aside procurements, the government bolsters small businesses by encouraging their participation in federally-funded research. Two key programs exist: the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program. Ultimately, the government hopes that participating small businesses will commercialize technologies developed with federal research dollars. While the two programs are similar, a key feature distinguishes them: the STTR Program requires a small business to partner with a qualified research institution.

SBA has issued regulations and directives that govern these two programs. Here are five things you should know about the SBIR/STTR Programs.

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GAO: Exception To Protest Timeliness Rules Didn’t Apply To NASA SBIR Competition

This story is about a glider, a balloon, the planet Venus, and Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. This subject matter is the fabric of the universe, but the lesson it teaches is as mundane as linen sheets.

A NASA Small Business Innovation Research offeror cannot always wait for a debriefing to file a GAO bid protest, because if it does, it may run the risk of the protest grounds being untimely.

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2017 NDAA Extends SBIR & STTR Programs For Five Years

Coming as welcome news for collaborative R&D, the 2017 NDAA will extend the life of the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

The conference version of the bill, which seems likely to be on the President’s desk in short order, contains provisions extending both programs for five years.

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SBIR Program: SBA OHA Explains The Ownership Requirements

A firm will not qualify as a small business for a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant if it does not meet the SBIR program’s regulatory ownership and control requirements–and those requirements can be confusing.

In a recent size appeal decision, the SBA Office of Hearings and Appeals explained how the SBIR program’s ownership and control requirements work in practice.

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GAO: Agency’s SBIR Phase III Decision Not Protestable

A procuring agency’s decision not to enter into a Small Business Innovation Research program phase III funding agreement cannot be protested to the GAO in most cases, according to a recently-released GAO bid protest decision.

In GAO Bid Protest of Complere, Inc., B-406553 (June 25, 2012), NASA awarded Complere SBIR phase I and phase I research contracts.  After the phase II contract concluded, Complere submitted an unsolicited phase III proposal, which NASA did not accept–electing instead to do its own research on the topic in-house.  Complere filed a GAO bid protest, alleging that NASA had acted improperly.

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