Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More SBIR Tidbits: Upcoming Deadlines, Boeing interest, SITIS, and other stuff

Everyone's taking a deep breath after last week's flurry of activity to get the NSF and NIH SBIR proposals submitted on time. I hope that everyone was able to jump through the FastLane and Grants.gov/eRA Commons hoops without hassle, although I've only rarely heard of anyone getting through the NIH submission process without having to do a corrected submission -- it's always something!

The NIH did put on a webinar with representatives from the NIH SBIR Office, Grants.gov, and the eRA Commons on-line to ostensibly allow applicants with questions to get them answered. They did a good job. I listened in and did learn some things. Evidently hundreds of questions were submitted via the on-line mechanism, but unfortunately only a very small number of them were able to be answered in the time allotted. It's clear that the NIH proposal submission system has evolved to be so complex that many find it too formidable to deal with. That's a shame. It shouldn't have to be so tough! Anyhow, the PowerPoint presentations the webinar speakers made are available for download from the NIH SBIR web page. Click HERE for a quick link to them.

Now we're into the post-Thanksgiving pre-Christmas push to get DOD, NIST, NOAA,and DHS SBIR proposals written for submission by mid-January, although my experience in dealing with proposal writers says that most will procrastinate until just before the deadline anyhow....Sigh..... DHS proposals are due Jan 5th, DOD and NOAA on Jan 14th, and NIST on Jan 22nd. NIST and NOAA require paper copies delivered by specific deadlines, while DHS and DOD have proprietary submission portal websites. All four of these agencies issue contracts or purchase orders for the work, not grants, so none of them use Grants.gov (hooray!). You should, however, have a DUNS Number and be registered in the CCR. [Remember, the SBIR Coach provides support for start-to-finish Proposal Preparation Coaching or just for Proposal Draft Reviews. Contact me if you'd like to discuss.]

Boeing has released its interest list for SBIR participation and support for the DOD 2009.1 topics. Write me if you'd like a copy. Kudos to Boeing's Rich Hendel for being the most proactive big-company SBIR supporter in the country! According to the information that Rich presented at the SBIR National Conference last month in Hartford, it's paying dividends for Boeing. Are the rest of you big-dogs paying attention?

The DOD officially opened their SBIR submission website for the 2009.1 round on December 8th, so no more communication with Topic Authors (aka TPOCs) is permitted, other than through SITIS, the official on-line system for asking questions and getting answers on the topics. My December SBIR Coach's Newsletter discusses how to use the SITIS system effectively. Write me for a copy of this one, and subscribe to future issues by clicking the "Join" button in the margin on the left of this Blog post.

Not much is happening on the SBIR re-authorization front. The current economic turmoil has everything else on hold. But, we'll turn on the heat as soon as the new Congress convenes.

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