In anticipation of the release of the Department of Transportation (DOT) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Fiscal Year 2020 solicitation, the DOT has announced some changes to the SBIR program. These changes are taking place as part of a self-described “modernization effort” on the part of the DOT.
DOT SBIR Fiscal Year 2020 Technical Expert/Topic Authors will be available to answer questions and provide clarification to interested applicants at the Operating Administrations during this period. An Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board will take place on January 13-14. DOT representatives will be available to answer questions during the board meeting at the SBIR booth.
Streamlined Application Process
The bad news? In order to streamline the application process, the submission window has been reduced to 30 days. The good news? Because the window of opportunity for submission is smaller, page requirements for DOT SBIR Fiscal Year 2020 applications will be changed. The technical proposal will be reduced to accommodate a shorter application period.
DOT SBIR Fiscal Year 2020 evaluation teams will down-select finalists being considered for awards and invite them to participate in DOT’s Pitch Day. Pitch Day is a new SBIR program that was highly successful within the U.S. Air Force’s SBIR program. DOT will follow suit in implementing their own in-person Pitch Day event. DOT Pitch Day will be an event for SBIR finalists to participate in. It will take place at DOT Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and allow finalists to present their 15-minute “pitch” to the reviewers and engage in a Q&A session. Real-time evaluation is hypothesized to enable quicker decision-making and streamline the Phase I award process.
These changes were announced on December 10th, 2019. Just in time for candidates to start preparing for the next fiscal year solicitation release scheduled for early January 2020. With a shorter application window, it is now more important than ever to stay informed about solicitation openings and deadlines. Check out the DOT SBIR homepage to learn more or to sign up for email updates.
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