BIO webinar offers expert advice on applications for SBIR/STTR grants

SBIR/STTR webinar

New rules for applying for federal SBIR/STTR seed funding will be explained by members of the NIH office reviewing applications in a Sept. 19 webinar organized by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO).

The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs support innovative enterprises in a variety of fields. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) runs the second-biggest SBIR/STTR program, and many BIO members have benefitted.

This year there are several changes to the application and grant process, including:

  • New disclosure requirements regarding foreign relationships, cybersecurity due diligence, and new performance standards.
  • New changes to the SBIR/STTR programs such as data management plans and procedures.

NIH Small Business Office representatives will explain the new regulations in this webinar organized by BIO to assist enterprising businesses.

The webinar is free. BIO members can also access one-on-one support from a grant writing expert from PSC Biotech, a BIO Business Solutions partner, on September 20 and 21.

The webinar takes place Tuesday, Sept. 19, from 2-3 pm (ET). Click here to register.

BIO Members can register for office hours here.

Q&A: Why a webinar?

To learn more about the webinar, Bio.News asked some questions of John Guy, Senior Manager, Emerging Companies Policy at BIO.

Can you give a brief overview of the new disclosure requirements and how they came about?

The SBIR and STTR Extension Act of 2022 was signed last September and extended the SBIR/STTR programs for three years. As part of the legislation, Congress also added new conditions for companies receiving awards. These conditions included new performance criteria and requiring participating agencies to collect disclosures of foreign investment and affiliations of small businesses applying to the programs. These new rules were added last year after critics in Congress said some companies receive continued SBIR/STTR support with a poor record of commercializing technologies. The rules also address concerns about China and other foreign competitors exploiting U.S. government funded companies.”

Do you expect this will make SBIR/STTR grants more difficult to win, or is it really just a matter of new administrative work for most applicants?

“I think companies that are well prepared to respond to the new requirements may be OK. However, the new requirements do present a trap for the unwary, as companies must regularly update the agency providing funding or risk losing future funding, and possibly having to pay the funding back. That’s what makes BIO’s work educating companies on what to know and how to navigate these new requirements so impactful.”

How will the BIO seminar and office hours help applicants?

“We have heard from our members a desire to have more educational opportunities, and in particular an opportunity to have one-on-one company-specific support. The webinar will be presented by two representatives from NIH, and will dive into the specifics of the new rules and requirements that all biotechs should be aware of. The Office Hours – which are exclusively for BIO members – will allow members to ask specific questions about their grant application. If a member has a specific question a subject matter expert from PSC Biotech will be able to answer it directly with them in a Zoom call.”

Is there any webinar content you want to preview?

“Some companies have been confused about the new disclosure questions and when and how they should answer them in the application process. We’re hoping this webinar helps companies understand the process more fully so they can be best equipped to successfully complete their application.

“We’ve also worked closely with PSC Biotech to develop additional resources to support companies applying for grants. Companies can view the SBIR Flowchart to identify key decision points for SBIR/STTR applicants and understand the wide scope of agencies that provide SBIR funding. Companies can also view the SBIR Application Timeline, which will help them prepare a successful application.”

Is there anything else the webinar will cover?

One other thing we will cover in the webinar is the Technical and Business Assistance (TABA) funding. TABA funding assists small businesses participating in SBIR/STTR programs by providing separate funding to awardees so they can contract vendors and consultants for purposes including intellectual property protections, market research, and regulatory and/or manufacturing plans.

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