Preparing for #SBIR

  • Wednesday, September 25, 2019 7:00 AM

Quick question: Does your office chair have a seatbelt? If not, you’ll want to hop on Amazon and get one. Preparation for #SBIR/#STTR is no joke, and you will want to stay focused. Here is why… #SBIR proposals require a very meticulous application process. For this reason, once you have decided to apply for an #SBIR award, there are several steps you should take to prepare. First, and most importantly, read the entire solicitation. Solicitations are very detailed. Therefore, it is crucial to read carefully and not miss any important steps. By the time you have read the solicitation, you should be familiar with all submission requirements. Further, before you begin your Phase I proposal, you should be able to describe what both Phase II and Phase III of your project would look like. Most importantly, to prepare for an #SBIR/#STTR proposal, you should create a game plan and budget sufficient time to work on your proposal.

This not only includes writing the proposal but also completing all required government registrations, (e.g., System for Award Management Government SAM.gov) and other required registrations can be very time-consuming and can take as long as 15 to 20 business days to validate. Therefore getting started early is crucial.

Once you have initiated your government registrations, you should begin to research your topic. This includes reading sources provided by the agency, literature reviews, the work done by previous winners of the award, and possible partners or collaborators.

Once these steps are complete, you will be much better prepared to write a competitive #SBIR/#STTR proposal.

Take Away TIP: Follow our rule of 30, 7, 1

30: Do Not Apply if you are 30 calendar days or less away from deadline. Some goverment registrations may not be active & valid in time for you to submit a proposal on time.

7: All work on all facests of the preparation is done 7 caledar days ahead of the deadline. This means all drafts are finalized, all attachments are ready, all forms are completed. You are 100% done.

1: The day before the deadline, submit your proposal.

If your company hasn’t worked with the government before, you’ll need to register with these systems. You MUST have completed your SAM registration BEFORE you can begin entering your proposal in FastLane. Start as soon as possible!!

Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS number)

Processing time: Up to five business days

A DUNS number is a unique, nine-digit number that identifies each physical location of your company. You’ll need one in order to receive government funding. Because you’re applying for a DUNS number for government funding, processing time should take about five business days.

System for Award Management (SAM)

Processing time: Up to three weeks (Yikes!!)

You MUST register to do business with the U.S. government through System for Award Management (SAM). When you register, you’ll have to share bank account information of the account where the NSF funds would be deposited. This registration process is free and takes only 10-15 minutes to initiate, but can take up to three weeks to complete. An active SAM.gov registration is needed to create an account with most funders. Registration expires after one year. Read the SAM Quick Start Guide.

Research.gov (Online Grant Management for the NSF Community)

Processing time: Up to 48 hours

Before applying, you need to register your company with NSF in Research.gov. Only after registering with Research.gov can you login to FastLane and begin preparing your proposal. (SBIR and STTR proposals are not accepted in Research.gov). We recommend you explore FastLane before submitting your application.

SBIR Company Registry

Finally, you need to register with the SBIR Company Registry (operated by the Small Business Administration). Post-registration, you’ll receive a Business Concern Control ID (SBC ID), which you’ll need to include in your FastLane application.


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