Small biz invited into R&D pool

The Defense Department's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program has announced a $556 million pool of grant capital for small technology companies' research and development proposals.

DOD will launch its first solicitation for fiscal 2001 on Oct. 2 and will begin accepting proposals from small companies Dec 1.

The fiscal 2001 solicitation will contain hundreds of research and development topics from the Air Force, the Navy, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and many others.

SBIR is the largest source of early-stage technology funding available in the United States. The program awards more than $550 million annually to companies with 500 or fewer employees conducting R&D projects that serve a DOD need and have commercialization potential in both private and military markets.

SBIR proposals will be accepted Dec. 1 through Jan. 10. Phase I awardees can receive up to $100,000 for a six-month effort to test the scientific and technical merit of their concepts. If Phase I is successful, companies may be awarded a Phase II contract and receive up to $750,000 to further develop their concepts, usually to prototype stage.

The business always retains the intellectual property rights for its innovation.

Applicants can log onto the DOD SBIR Web site to view new subjects and ask questions of the topic authors to help them compete for SBIR awards. Applicants seeking information not available on the DOD SIBR Web site can call the program's help desk at (800) 382-4634 or e-mail SBIRHELP@teltech.com.

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