Why the SBIR Program Is Worth Funding

The SBIR program overcomes the failure of private markets to fund innovation when the benefit to society exceeds the benefits to the private firms undertaking it.   By overcoming this market failure, the SBIR program makes all of us better off, facilitating the allocation of resources to the development of new materials, medical technologies, software, and the like.

A Government Program Every American Startup Should Know About

Each year SBIR and its sister program for non-profits, the STTR program, invest in American entrepreneurs to stimulate technological innovation and address national needs in areas such as health, education, and national defense. Providing over $2 billion in competitive awards each year, SBIR/STTR are the largest source of early-stage capital for innovative small companies in the United States.

The Government Might Fund Your Idea Before Anybody Else Will

Sitting at the SBIR conference, I listened to agency after agency share their funding allocation for research and development. I couldn’t believe that these agencies were willing to pay for the infancy stage of innovation and kept pinching myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Here are the five key things to understanding the SBIR funding program.

6 Funding Options for Young Businesses

Small Business Innovation Research is a government sponsored program, in which a certain percentage of the research budgets of the 11 federal agencies are reserved for contracts or grants to small businesses. Approximately $2.5 billion is awarded through this program each year.

SBIR/STTR Funds Bridge the "Valley of Death" for Small Tech Companies

Entrepreneurs are only too familiar with this loveless land of shrugs and empty pockets. If you've reached the "Valley," you're somewhere between the initial development of your innovative idea and proof that it has potential in the marketplace. Right now, you need capital to get from here to there, and that's the rub.

NIH and NSF collaborate to accelerate biomedical research innovations into the marketplace

A collaboration between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health will give NIH-funded researchers training to help them evaluate their scientific discoveries for commercial potential, with the aim of accelerating biomedical innovations into applied health technologies.

Scientist Pursues Passion More Than Pay

When you first walk into Thoughtventions Unlimited, it looks like the junky garage of a man with heavy-duty tinkering interests. There's a 25-year-old scanning electron microscope covered in dust. "Haven't used it in 10 years," says Steve Bates, who has a Ph.D. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from MIT.

It's National Small Business Week: Why You (Yes, You!) Should Care

Despite the rise of mega-retailers and giant conglomerates small businesses are an important source of job creation and healthy economic growth.

Launching a tech startup? Try national security

Although defense contracts traditionally conjure up images of large government contractors, the government has been working toward including more small businesses and startups in the mix.

NASA Invests in Hundreds of U.S. Small Businesses to Enable Future Missions

Recognizing the critical role of American small businesses and research institutions play as innovation engines for new space technologies that will enable future space exploration, NASA has selected 383 research and technology proposals for negotiations that may lead to contracts worth a combined $47.6 million.

MIT retools to aid students with startups

In a rousing letter to the campus in October, Reif ordered a massive overhaul of MIT’s approach to teaching and discovery, so that literally every classroom and lab session is an opportunity to innovate — to be better, faster, more efficient.

2014 Small Business Grants and Start-up Business Grants: Getting to know the federal SBIR grant program

The federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program exists to encourage U.S. small businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees) to engage in research/research and development (R/R&D) with the potential to lead to a commercial product.

US Army to Spend $440 Million on Inflatable SATCOM Antennae

The key innovation of GATR’s antenna is a flexible parabolic dish mounted within an inflatable sphere, reducing weight and packaged volume by as much as 80 percent and thereby improving the agility of deployed military and disaster response personnel.

The SBIR Measurement Void

The Government Accountability Office came upon a mystery when it went looking to see whether the Pentagon's Small Business Innovation Research programs actually result in technologies that benefit the military. " . . . information on the technology transition outcomes for SBIR projects is limited. Consequently DOD cannot identify the extent to which the program is supporting military users," GAO says in a report. Congress wants this information, but DOD "has not yet determined how and when" it will comply.


New Dimension to SBIR-STTR

The Association of American Universities is applauding bipartisan legislation that would let agencies dedicate some of their Small Business Innovative Research and Technology Transfer funds to creating proof-of-concept programs.

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