Monday, September 29, 2008

SBIR Coach to speak at Dallas Nanotech event this week

I've neglected my Blog this month. No excuses, other than having been exceptionally busy helping clients prepare DOD Phase I and Phase II proposals and dodging Hurricane Ike. I promise to be more prolific in October.

I'll be a speaker at the NanoTX'08 Conference and Expo to be held this week in Dallas. My talk will highlight (surprise!) SBIR opportunities for nanotechnology development. I'll also be on two Panels, one for Nanotech Investment Issues and another on Nanotech Workforce Issues. If you'd like copies of any of my presentations, just send me an email.

With the Wall Street turmoil of the past couple of weeks, it's a darned good thing that the extention of the SBIR Program to next March was accomplished. There's no way that our esteemed Congressional officials would have paid any attention to what small businesses needed when big businesses were teetering on the brink!

I'll get back to SBIR technology transition to commercialization issues soon. Promise. If any of you who read this have some questions or issues you'd like me to address, let me hear about them, either in a comment here, or an email to me.


Friday, September 5, 2008

FLASH: SBIR given reprieve to March 2009

I had intended to continue discussion of the goings on at the "Beyond Phase II" SBIR technology commercialization conference I attended this week (see yesterday's post), but that will have to wait until another day, as I want to tell you about the behind-the-scenes action that apparently has given the SBIR Program a temporary reprieve until March 20, 2009.

According to Rick Shindell of The SBIR Gateway in his SBIR Insider report dated today (9/05/08): "Earlier this year, Senate Small Business Committee Chair, John Kerry (D-MA) wrote a short bill, S.3029, 'To provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, and for other purposes.' It was cosponsored by his ranking member, Olympia Snowe (R-ME), and was passed in the Senate by Unanimous Consent on May 15, and by voice vote in the House on May 20. President Bush signed the bill into Public Law 10-235 on May 23, 2008. Its potential applicability to SBIR was kept low keyed in order to not interfere with reauthorization efforts that were underway in both the House and Senate. "

While not mentioning the SBIR program by name, this bill is interpreted by most legal eagles in the Government as applying to the SBIR situation, and steps have been taken to make sure that all of the participating agencies recognize the application of this law to SBIR and do not shut down their programs at the end of this month.

So, the SBIR reauthorization fight is temporarily delayed for a while, but it will be rejoined in the Spring, and there will be a lot of work to do to reconcile the differences of opinion that exist between the House and the Senate. You can bet that the The SBIR Coach will be in the middle of the fray!

Keep your pencils sharpened [talk about an out-of-date metaphor!] as, when the debate resumes, we'll be writing letters to our elected officials in the new Congress to encourage them to do the right thing for SBIR. Stay tuned for further developments, and thank you for your support.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Promoting paths to SBIR technology commercialization

The SBIR Coach is at the DOD sponsored "Beyond Phase II" SBIR technology commercialization conference in Palm Desert CA this week. In addition to hearing excellent "technology transition" presentations from NASA, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense, I'm enjoying meeting and chatting with the key SBIR liaisons at some of the country's biggest Prime contractors, including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. I'm representing the interests of several clients who can't be here, and have made some very promising contacts for them.

The Agencies and the Prime contractors are actively working together to encourage integration of SBIR funded technologies into systems produced by the larger companies and ultimately deployed into end use. For the SBIR companies it's the follow-on funding (called Phase III) that turns prototypes into products. For the big companies it's the opportunity to integrate innovative bits of technology that improve performance into their systems. For the Agencies, it's solving problems and fulfilling missions. Everybody wins.

The Conference organizers, led by my friend Andy Talbert, have provided all of the presentations on a USB drive given to each attendee -- the welcome replacement to the big books of presentations we used to get! Click HERE (and then click "Agenda") to see the Conference Agenda. If there's a particular presentation you'd like to see and chat about, send me an email and I'll be happy to send it to you.

Today, among other things, we hear much more about the DOD's Commercialization Pilot Program and what the States are doing to support SBIR technology transition into commercialization. More on this in tommorow's post.