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Dear Colleague Letter: Opportunities for Small Business Phase II Partnerships with an Engineering Research Center (ERC)

This document has been archived.


Date: October 30, 2008
To: Current Small Business Phase II Grantees (SBIR/STTR)
From: Dr. Kesh Narayanan, Division Director
        Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)
  Dr. Allen Soyster
        Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC)
Re: Opportunities for small business partnerships with an ERC

Dear Colleagues:

We invite supplemental funding requests from current Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Phase II grantees to perform collaborative research with an Engineering Research Center (ERC). This supplemental funding opportunity aims to open the doors for current SBIR/STTR grantees to benefit from the innovative and leading-edge research performed at ERCs and for the ERCs to benefit from the role of small firms in carrying out research to speed research results into commercial products. The goals of this effort are to provide a mutually beneficial research and commercialization platform where SBIR/STTR Phase II grantees can perform collaborative research with ERC faculty, researchers, and graduate students, to strengthen the capacity of their firms, and speed the transition of ERC advances to the marketplace.

Supplement Deadline: Supplement requests must be submitted before January 29, 2009
(5 p.m. submitter’s local time); or the last Thursday in January, annually thereafter.

Document Replaced: This document replaces NSF 07-035.


SBIR/STTR Eligibility: Only companies with current NSF SBIR/STTR Phase II and Phase IIB awards are eligible to directly apply for this supplemental funding opportunity. Eligible companies may request supplements to partner with eligible ERCs. Contact an ERC listed at for more information on a specific center and their activities. This website lists all eligible ERCs that can participate in the SBIR/STTR partnership.

An eligible company may submit more than one request for supplemental funding. However, multiple requests for supplemental funding from an SBIR/STTR grantee with the same ERC will be returned without review. Likewise, supplemental funding requests will be returned without review if the SBIR/STTR grantee submits a proposal for the same NSF-funded project to partner with multiple ERCs. Examples of acceptable partnerships are:

  • SBIR/STTR-A partnering with ERC-A on project X.
  • SBIR/STTR-A also partnering with ERC-B on project Y.

Maximum Supplement Award Amount: $200,000

Estimated number of supplement awards : Approximately five supplements to existing awards are anticipated.

Supplement Preparation Instructions: The supplemental funding request must be submitted through FastLane as a supplement to an existing SBIR/STTR Phase II award. The SBIR/STTR Phase II firm should act as the lead organization, with the collaborating ERC as a sub-awardee. The maximum amount of the budget for the supplement must not be more than $200,000, including the sub-award. The sub-awardee budget must be a minimum of 30 percent or a maximum of 50 percent of the total budget amount. The supplement request can extend the original SBIR/STTR Phase II award for a maximum of two years.

The PI of the SBIR/STTR company’s Phase II award must be listed as the PI for this supplemental funding request. Other researchers may be listed as co-PIs. The request must describe the value of the proposed partnership and how this unique collaborative effort will benefit the SBIR/STTR company. The supplemental funding request also must include a letter from the Center Director of the collaborating ERC that outlines the responsibilities of the ERC within the proposed partnership and how that partnership will benefit the ERC.

All supplement awards are subject to (a) the availability of funds, and (b) review of the quality of the request.

For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. When contacting FastLane, inform the technician that you are required to apply for this opportunity as a supplement.

Review process: Supplemental funding requests submitted in response to this opportunity will be reviewed by ad hoc review and/or a panel of experts.

Reporting requirements: At the end of every six months, the SBIR/STTR PI must submit an integrated report encompassing contributions by both SBIR/STTR and ERC researchers. This report must be submitted via email, on behalf of the partnership to The report should be limited to ten pages.

The final report must address contributions by both the SBIR/STTR and ERC researchers.

Additional Information: General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Rathindra DasGupta, IIP Program Director, telephone: (703) 292-8353, email:

  • Glenn H. Larsen, IIP Alternate Program Director, telephone: (703) 292-8383, email:

  • Barbara H. Kenny, EEC Program Director, telephone: (703) 292-4667, email:

  • Victoria Kwasiborski, EEC Science Assistant, telephone: (703) 292-5363, email:

For questions related to the use of FastLane and details of how to submit a request for supplemental funding contact: