TABA is an incredibly useful resource that surprisingly few people know about. TABA, or Technical and Business Assistance, is a program that provides funding over and above the SBIR/STTR grant budget cap. These funds are specifically to be used for commercialization assistance services from a chosen provider. Services can range from proposal prep, business consulting, or evaluation. The amount of TABA varies depending on the program and agency offering it.
TABA has several aliases as well. It could be offered under the program title of DTA for Discretionary Technical Assistance, or in some cases, it is simply listed as Commercialization Assistance. TABA is a federally funded program that is applied specifically to SBIR and STTR projects, so to use this resource you must be seeking federal funding from the SBIR program and have an innovative, high-risk idea. Out of the 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program, 9 offer some form of commercialization assistance for Phase I, Phase II, or both.
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TABA is helpful because it offers funds outside of the scope of the normal budgetary restrictions for SBIR awards. The award itself must be used for payroll, supplies, and other business needs, leaving little to no funds for necessary services such as advisors, consultants, or business development specialists. These services can mean the difference between successful commercialization and underwhelming results for a small business. This is especially true in the science and technology sector, as many Principal Investigators have ample research experience but only limited marketing and commercialization experience.
The best part about TABA is you can choose your own professional to provide services. The TABA funds are allocated to businesses who then select their own consultant for the services needed. This means businesses can choose someone they know and trust or someone with proper credentials and great reviews instead of being forced to rely on the federal agency to select the service professional. To learn more about proposal preparation or evaluation and how you can use TABA to offset some of the costs, visit us at http://www.ebhoward.com
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