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Check Out New Subtopics for Latest NSF SBIR/STTR Cycle

September 3rd, 2014 | by Michael Kurek

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released its latest SBIR solicitation with a submission deadline of December 2, 2014. We can expect the STTR check it out arrowsolicitation to be coming shortly.

In the meantime there are some new technology subtopics that you should check out:
Biomedical Technologies (BM)
BM5. Noninvasive Imaging of Brain Function

Educational Technologies and Applications (EA)
EA2. Global and Collaborative Education
EA4. Entrepreneurial and Maker Education

Information and Communication Technologies (IC)
IC1. Big Data; Advanced Data Analytics
IC2. Cloud Computing; High Performance Computing; Cloud-Based IT Services
IC3. Machine Learning, Natural Processing (NLP)
IC4. Networking Technology
IC5. Mobile Computing
IC6. Social Media/Collaborative Networking

Advanced Manufacturing (M)
M2. Maker Manufacturing

Chemical and Environmental Technologies (CT)
CT13. Smart Production and Process Equipment Technology
CT14. Innovations in Green Engineering and Chemistry

You can find detailed descriptions of these, and the other re-issued, subtopics in this new NSF SBIR/STTR document.

It’s never too early to start planning for your submission. Here are some things you can start right now:

  1. Confirm your Company’s eligibility for NSF.
  2. Check and/or update your registrations. NSF requires registration at SAM, FastLane, and SBA ( Remember that your SAM registration must be updated annually.
  3. Initiate communication with NSF Program Director responsible for your subtopic. Get answers to any questions you have about the subtopic, and whether your project idea would be considered responsive. However, before you start down this path it’s a good idea to do some homework:
    1. Search any previous SBIR/STTR awards that NSF has made related to your idea
    2. Prepare a 1-2 page Executive Summary of your idea to send to the Program Director. Follow the outline suggested by NSF and in your email, request a telephone appointment.

BBCetc can help you sort through topics and guide you through proposal preparation and submission process. Let us know if we can help!


Michael Kurek, PhD, Partner, BBCetc

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Broad Area Announcements Offer an Additional Funding Source

August 18th, 2014 | by Becky Aistrup

Although they are not generally small business set-asides, Broad Area Announcements (BAAs) can be an R&D funding source for small companies to consider in addition to the various agency SBIR/STTR programs. The BAA is a competitive solicitation process used to obtain proposals for basic and applied research, as well as for that part of development

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Budget Justification an Important, yet Underutilized Part of Proposals

July 16th, 2014 | by Kris Bergman

If you’re preparing an SBIR/STTR proposal for the upcoming Aug. 5 NIH or other agency deadline don’t underestimate the power of your budget justification. Numbers on a spreadsheet are only half of the story. Reviewers need to see WHY you are spending money on the things in your budget. Here are some important things to remember:

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What to Do — and Not Do — to Get Your Technology in Front of DOD

June 30th, 2014 | by Jayne Berkaw

Chad Darr, Director of Product Development for Loc Performance Products, Inc. knows a thing or two about getting products in front of the Dept. of Defense. Located in Plymouth, MI, Loc is an SBIR awardee and a full-service manufacturer of large CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machined components and mechanical assemblies for military and commercial applications.

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Strategic Partnering for SBIR-Stage Companies: Finding Your Strategic Partner

June 11th, 2014 | by Michael Kurek

This is the third in a BBCetc series on various aspects of finding, consummating, and maintaining a productive inter-company partnership. Part one / Part two In many ways, the process of finding the right strategic partner is not much different than finding the right customer for your product. Both involve identifying and understanding a problem.

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Telling Your Story: Formatting and Readability Tips for SBIR/STTR Proposals

May 30th, 2014 | by Andrea Johanson

A good SBIR/STTR proposal is made infinitely better by writing and formatting that enhances readability and showcases your technology to its best advantage. So, before you dig in, start by knowing who it is that you are writing for. Depending on the agency, SBIR/STTR proposals may undergo an internal review, an external review, or a

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Strategic Partnering for SBIR-Stage Companies: Types of Strategic Alliances

May 6th, 2014 | by Michael Kurek

This is the second in a BBCetc series on various aspects of finding, consummating, and maintaining a productive inter-company partnership. Read part one. Strategic alliances come in all shapes and sizes and adapt to a variety of purposes. The most common include: Pooled Purchasing Supplier Partnering Distribution Partnering Franchising and licensing agreements R&D Partnerships (sometimes

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Strategic Partnering For SBIR-Stage Companies: What Motivates Large Companies to Partner?

April 1st, 2014 | by Michael Kurek

Strategic partnering is an important component of the commercialization plans of many SBIR awardees. This is the first in a BBCetc series of blogs on various aspects of finding, consummating, and maintaining a productive inter-company partnership. From the perspective of the small company, the motivation seems both simple and obvious – the need for funding.

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Top five eRA Commons errors account for about 80% of total SBIR/STTR submission errors. Don’t Be That Person!

March 18th, 2014 | by Betty Royster

(Special thanks to Betty Royster and Matt Portnoy of the NIH SBIR/STTR program for their kind permission to reprint the informative post that follows.) Developing an NIH SBIR or STTR grant application requires a lot of hard work and multiple steps. Once you’ve written your application, you must be able to successfully submit it electronically

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Registration Reminder: Vegetables First, then Dessert

February 27th, 2014 | by Kris Bergman

Whether you’re a first timer or an old pro, the requirements for registering your small business with the various government websites can be as fun as a root canal. Each of the 11 agencies that participate in the SBIR/STTR funding programs has its own registration requirements; some are the same across agencies and some are

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