The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is in search of a partner organization to help small businesses commercialize the technologies they develop as part of NIST's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The partner, with funding from NIST, would offer NIST SBIR companies technical and business advice and resources to assist them in successfully commercializing their research.
Like other federal agencies that conduct research, NIST annually issues a number of awards to small businesses interested in pursuing research projects related to the NIST mission to advance measurement science, standards and technology to support U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness and to improve the nation's quality of life. This year's NIST SBIR solicitation was recently announced (see "NIST SBIR Program Soliciting Proposals to Solve Cybersecurity and Manufacturing Challenges").
Under the SBIR program, small businesses receive funding for research projects in stages designated "Phase 1," a six-month contract to conduct a technical feasibility study, or "Phase 2," in which the research outlined in Phase 1 is actually conducted. Companies are expected to pursue the final phase—commercialization—with other funding sources, because SBIR does not directly fund commercialization work.
Because commercialization is a significant hurdle for many small companies, NIST's SBIR Technology Commercialization Assistance Program (TCAP) will provide some assistance for this step as well as with advice and support for the first two SBIR phases. The TCAP organization will work with SBIR recipients to help them make better business decisions and assist in developing and commercializing new products and processes resulting from the SBIR projects.
NIST anticipates funding a single TCAP project at approximately $100,000 per year for initial planning purposes, for a period of up to five years, subject to the availability of funds and according to the funding rules from the Small Business Administration. The program would start in June 2013.
Nonprofit organizations, accredited institutions of higher education, state or local governments or commercial organizations in the United States or its territories are eligible to apply. Applications are due to NIST by March 15, 2013. For complete details on eligibility, requirements deadlines and other details, see the documentation for Federal Funding Opportunity 2013-NIST-SBIR-01 at Grants.gov.