Defense Invites Small Business Research Proposals
by Douglas Mathew, Graduate Assistant, UALR SBDC
Today’s Tech Track E-News focuses on the opportunities open to Arkansas entrepreneurs to do research and development for the Department of Defense (DoD). Entrepreneurs have until October 13, 2006 to respond to the DoD’s FY06.3 Program Solicitation for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Participating component agencies within DoD have identified 143 technical topics for which they want research proposals from the U.S. small business community.
The DoD awards the largest amount of SBIR money (as compared to other participating federal agencies) to small businesses to conduct proof-of-concept research that interests it. The SBIR program is an excellent source of early stage money for U.S. small businesses interested in doing technical research with a goal to create new technologies and innovations that address critical needs identified by the funding agencies. SBIR provides money to enable small businesses to perform proof-of-concept technical research; if the early research shows success, then additional money may be available to help the small business perform more development work. Entrepreneurs must find research topics to which they can write a proposal since the agencies do not accept unsolicited proposals.
DoD begins accepting Phase I proposals on September 13, 2006 and all proposals must be received no later than 6:00 a.m. EST on October 13, 2006. All the applications must be submitted electronically via the DOD website. IMPORTANT: Between August 1 and September 12, entrepreneurs can speak directly with the DoD's Topic Authors to ask questions about any topics that interest them. Contact information is included within each research topic. Once DoD begins accepting proposals on September 13, it will not be possible to have direct contact with topic authors.
We recommend that entrepreneurs and researchers use the resources available at the DoD's SBIR website cited below to learn more about these opportunities. The site includes sample proposals, an SBIR Tutorial and other useful sections to help small businesses understand how to participate in these programs.
This DoD SBIR solicitation includes research topics from 4 participating agencies. The following are areas of interest for each of the participating agencies.
The FY06.3 announcement describes 11 research topics. Phase I awards from the Air Force are for 9 months and do not exceed $100,000. Phase I winners are expected to complete their primary research work during the first 6 months; the last 3 months offers project continuity for those projects that will also receive Phase II funds. The Air Force SBIR Program funds projects that integrate the needs and requirements of the Air Force through R&D topics that have military and commercial potential.
Navy’s FY06.3 solicitation describes 22 research topics. The department will fund certain topics at amounts up to $70,000 and 6 months with an option for as much as $30,000 and 3 months additional work effort. The Navy’s SBIR program funds projects that integrate the needs and requirements of the Navy’s Fleet through R&D topics that have dual use potential, but primarily address the needs of the Navy.
Missile Defense Agency (MDA)
MDA’s current solicitation describes 55 technical topics. Phase I awards from MDA cannot exceed $100,000 and 6 month for performance. Entrepreneurs with expertise in weapons effects, arms control, chemical and biological defense and counter proliferation technologies are encouraged to review the topic descriptions.
Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)
OSD’s current solicitation describes 55 technical topics. Phase I awards from the OSD are for 6 months and do not exceed $100,000. OSD funds projects that solve defense-related scientific or engineering problems that have high potential for commercialization in the private sector.
Entrepreneurs interested in submitting proposals in response to this program can find more details on research topics and application procedures at www.acq.osd.mil/osbp/sbir.
Arkansas entrepreneurs and researchers interested in learning more about this or other SBIR/STTR opportunities are encouraged to contact Mildred Holley, firstname.lastname@example.org, 501.324.9043 or 800.862.2040 (AR only).
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