Sunday, August 31, 2008

DOE announces new SBIR topics

The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced its 2009 SBIR topic area list this week. There are 60 topic areas for which applicants can propose projects, many of them in the clean and renewable energy sectors of interest to Green Technology initiatives. This is a preliminary notice, with the official opening of the DOE's 2009 SBIR solicitation to come in mid-September. Monitor the SBIR Gateway for the official opening announcement.

The DOE uses the website and process for acceptance of SBIR proposals, and if you haven't used this mechanism before, I encourage you to prepare in advance and get registered now. The State of Connecticut (which will host the Fall National SBIR Conference in November) has put together an excellent presentation on the multi-step registration process that you can dowload by clicking HERE. Most of the Federal Agencies that offer SBIR grants use, and, fortunately, you only have to go through this registration process once.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

SBA Announces Intent to Raise SBIR Award Limits - They Want Your Comments

The SBA has announced the intent to raise SBIR award limits to $150K for Phase I and $1M for Phase II. See the announcement on the Federal Register by clicking here.

In their announcement, they say: "SBA is authorized by statute to adjust the award amounts once every 5 years to reflect economic adjustments and programmatic considerations." Note that the SBA has never before chosen to take such action.

Your comments are being solicited. Here's the information you'll need:

DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 15, 2008. SBA intends to make these comments available to the public.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by "RIN 3245-AF61" by any of the following methods: (1) Federal Rulemaking Portal:, follow the instructions for submitting comments; (2) Mail: Office of Technology, 409 Third Street, SW., Washington, DC 20416; or (3) Hand Delivery/Courier: Edsel Brown, Assistant Director, Office of Technology, 409 Third Street, SW., Washington, DC 20416.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edsel Brown, Assistant Director, Office of Technology, at (202) 205-7343. You may also e-mail questions to

Thanks to my friend Rick Shindell at The SBIR Gateway for having provided this information via his SBIR Insider Newsletter. Before you provide your comments, you might want to read his August 20th issue for an analysis of why the SBA chose to take this action now with the reauthorization bill being considered by the Senate (S.3362) having the same new limits.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Boeing wants to help you win DOD SBIRs and STTRs

The Boeing Corporation continues its support of entrepreneurial technology development by providing a list of Boeing people who are interested in collaborative support of SBIR and STTR projects sponsored by the Department of Defense's 2008.3 SBIR and STTR solicitation. It's very rare that the DOD will offer new STTR topics this late in the year. Typically all STTR opportunities are open only in the Spring.

If the topic you're planning to respond to appears on Boeing's list, it would be a productive strategy to seek collaborative support for your application from Boeing. They'll provide letters of support (when appropriate) with the objective of participating in development (Phases I and II) leading to the ultimate commercialization of the developed technology (Phase III) by integrating it into Boeing solutions.

The DOD will begin accepting proposals on August 25th and proposals are due by September 24th. You have one more week (effectively until August 22nd) to contact the DOD Technical Point of Contact on the topic for clarification of the requirements. All serious applicants are strongly encouraged to do so.

If you'd like a copy of the Boeing list, please send me an email request. My website has my email address.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Contact your Senators today and urge them to reauthorize SBIR!

Now that the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has approved an SBIR reauthorization bill (S. 3362) the important steps are to secure full Senate and then House approval, so it can be sent to the President for signing into law. S. 3362's reauthorizing language offers an acceptable compromise (from the radical changes that we opposed in HR. 5819) that many of us who advocate for small business causes can support. Remember, without congressional action, the SBIR Program will expire at the end of September.

One way you can help is to encourage (dare I say demand) that your Senators support (and even co-sponsor) S. 3362 when they return from recess in September. The SBTC and NSBA have joined in providing a template letter that you can edit if you wish, and have sent sent over your signature to both Senators from your State. Please take a few minutes today to send this letter.

I sent it off this morning to both Texas Senators. With the NSBA's template it's painless and easy! Just do it! Get it done!

It's also effective to call your Senators' DC offices (ask for their "Small Business Legislative Aide") to urge their support and co-sponsorship of S. 3362. The Capitol Switchboard number is
(202) 224-3121.

Friday, August 1, 2008

SBIR Coach to Keynote Green Technology Alliance Conference

The SBIR Coach will be a Keynote Speaker at "Go Green Now" a Green Technology Alliance (GTA) Conference to be held in Austin, Texas, on August 13th.

The Coach will speak on "Funding Your Clean/Green Venture" and will highlight funding opportunities from State economic development initiatives, Angel, and VC sources as well as SBIR.

He will also be a panelist on the subject of "Preparing for Funding: Finding the Appropriate Form of Investment" as part of an Integrated Technology Commercialization panel.

Michelle Naquin, CEO of the GTA, puts this unique perspective to thinking green and clean: "Green and clean are not separate needs, instead they represent the opportunities for companies to purchase, develop, launch and implement more sustainable buying decisions and business processes. "

If you're anywhere in the vicinity of Austin, plan on attending this event. Registration is open, and it won't even cost you much "green"!