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NSF 12-069

Dear Colleague Letter: Supplemental Opportunity for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) for CREST/HBCU-RISE Collaborations (Phase IIA)

Date:

To:


From:

24 February 2012

NSF Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Grantees

Grace Wang, Division Director
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)

Muriel E. Poston, Division Director
Division of Human Resource Development (HRD)

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, in collaboration with the Centers for Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities Research Infrastructure for Science and Engineering (HBCU-RISE), seek to fund supplements to current SBIR/STTR Phase II awards that:

  • foster partnerships between the academic and small business communities;
  • increase participation of underrepresented groups in both academic and small business research;
  • promote commercialization efforts of the product identified in the Phase II project; and
  • encourage members of underrepresented groups to pursue careers in science and engineering

The Directorate for Engineering's Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) SBIR/STTR programs, in collaboration with the Directorate for Education and Human Resources' Division of Human Resource Development (HRD), invites all active SBIR/STTR Phase II, CREST, and HBCU-RISE grantees to participate.

OVERVIEW OF WORK TO BE ACCOMPLISHED: The Small Business Minority Academic Research Partnership Supplement (henceforth to be referred to as SBIR/STTR Phase IIA) will award a research supplement to a current SBIR/STTR Phase II grantee able to partner with a CREST/HBCU-RISE institution. The goals of the supplemental opportunity are to:

  • further the understanding of the SBIR/STTR Phase II research;
  • facilitate the development of a stronger technology base within the SBIR/STTR organization;
  • investigate the scientific or engineering underpinnings of the SBIR Phase II technology;
  • utilize the supported research capabilities of the CREST/HBCU-RISE institutions; and
  • enhance the educational objectives associated with NSF HRD support.

CREST/HBCU-RISE institutions interested in identifying and seeking possible partnerships with SBIR/STTR Phase II grantees should consult the NSF interactive award search system (reference: https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch; under Search Award For, enter SBIR Phase II or STTR Phase II and check Active Awards Only). Also, a listing of eligible CREST/HBCU-RISE institutions may be found at: CREST/HBCU-RISE Awards.

It is expected that key personnel from the small business and CREST/HBCU-RISE institution will lead the proposed efforts and, along with doctoral and postdoctoral students, will be engaged in supported activities.

A SBIR/STTR PI or CREST/HBCU-RISE co-PI contemplating the development of a request for supplemental funding in response to this Dear Colleague Letter should discuss with their cognizant program officer the planned work well before submitting a supplemental funding request.

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Organization Limit: Only companies with active NSF SBIR/STTR Phase II, partnering with currently funded CREST and/or HBCU- RISE grantees, are eligible to submit requests for supplemental funding under this initiative. A Phase II award that is on no-cost extension is not eligible for this supplemental opportunity.

PI Eligibility Limit: The Principal Investigator must be the PI of an active SBIR/STTR Phase II award.

Limit on Number of Supplemental Funding Requests: One per active Phase II grant. A Phase IIA award does not limit the eligibility for a Phase IIB award or other Supplemental Opportunities. Also, a Phase IIB or other Supplemental award does not limit the eligibility for a Phase IIA award.

AWARD INFORMATION

  • Awards will be made as supplements to active SBIR/STTR Phase II awards;
  • Maximum supplemental award amount is twenty percent of the Phase II award for a total duration of no more than one year;
  • A minimum of 70% of the supplemental funding must be budgeted as a sub-award to the partner CREST/HBCU-RISE institution;
  • A maximum of 30% of the supplemental funding (including overhead) is available to the SBIR/STTR institution;
  • Eight (8) supplemental awards anticipated each fiscal year; and
  • Awards subject to the availability of funds.

Extension: This supplemental opportunity will extend the current Phase II award for no more than one year.

SUPPLEMENTAL REQUEST PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

Supplemental Funding Request Preparation Instructions: Requests must be submitted according to the instructions for submitting supplemental funding requests found on the SBIR/STTR home page https://www.nsf.gov/eng/sbir under Supplemental Funding Opportunities.

The Project Description is limited to 15 pages; single spaced, and must include the following components:

  1. Clear description of the project activity including a section describing the connection of the research to the CREST/HBCU-RISE supported researc;
  2. Justification of the funds requested, and a supporting budget; and
  3. Identification of key personnel who will lead the effort. Their roles must be clearly articulated.

The small business typically retains the intellectual property rights of SBIR/STTR projects supported by the Federal Government. It is strongly suggested that an agreement between the small business and the CREST/HBCU-RISE institution be in place at the time of the submission of the supplemental funding request to ensure that all parties understand the ownership of the technology supported by the grant. An example of a cooperative agreement can be found at: https://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/sbir/cooperative_agreement.jsp

Budgetary Information: Budgets for SBIR/STTR Phase IIA supplemental funding request may not exceed 20% of the Phase II award for a total duration of no more than one year. At least 70% of this supplement should be budgeted as a sub-award to the CREST/HBCU-RISE institution. Travel funds to attend the NSF annual Phase II Grantees Conference must be budgeted. The hourly rate of salary/wage for each budgeted employee, the rate of fringe benefits, the rate of indirect costs and the rate of fee cannot exceed those in the final budget of the current Phase II award.

REVIEW INFORMATION

Requests for supplemental funding submitted in response to this Dear Colleague Letter will be jointly reviewed by National Science Foundation program officers in the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partners, Directorate for Engineering, the Division for Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) and the Human Resources Division (HRD), Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

The supplemental funding request will be reviewed for:

  • the technical objectives and how they fit with the technical objectives of the Phase II award;
  • how this supplemental effort will help the commercialization of the product identified in the Phase II award; and
  • how the proposed research takes advantage of the research capabilities of the CREST/HBCU-RISE institution

CONTACT PERSONNEL

Questions about this letter should be directed to the cognizant SBIR/STTR program officer in the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships, Directorate for Engineering, or Richard Smith (703-292-8071, rnsmith@nsf.gov), Division of Human Resource Development, Directorate for Education and Human Resources, and Dr. Marilyn Suiter; msuiter@nsf.gov; (703) 292-5121, Directorate for Education and Human Resources.

The list of IIP SBIR/STTR Program Officers can be found on the NSF website at https://www.nsf.gov/staff/staff_list.jsp?orgId=115&subDiv=y&org=IIP&from_org=IIP

OTHER SUPPLEMENTAL OPPORTUNITIES OF INTEREST

All active SBIR/STTR Phase II grantees are invited to participate in other supplement opportunities available at https://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/sbir/Supplement/phase_II.jsp

Grace Wang, Division Director
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (ENG/IIP)

Muriel E. Poston , Division Director
Division of Human Resource Development (EHR/HRD)