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America's Seed Fund - Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase I

Grants to USA Small Businesses to Support
the Development of Technologies

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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National Science Foundation (NSF)

Deadline Date:

12/03/20 5:00 PM Submitter's Local Time

Description:

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Grants to USA and territories businesses for the development of new technologies. Applicants must submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full proposal. Applicants are also advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Funding is intended for the development of technically risky and innovative technologies in nearly any science and technology field.

The NSF SBIR Program encourages small businesses to submit ideas across all areas of science and engineering (with the exception of technology advances requiring clinical trials). Small businesses are required to submit a Project Pitch to determine whether their proposed project is a good fit for the program's objectives to support innovative technologies that show promise of commercial and/or societal impact, and involve a level of technical risk, which can be mitigated by NSF support.

A small business's SBIR Phase I proposal should demonstrate how NSF funding will help the small business create a proof-of-concept or prototype or will otherwise conduct technical R&D to demonstrate technical feasibility and bring the innovation closer to commercialization. Full proposals (which will only be accepted after invitation from NSF) should describe the development of an innovation that demonstrates the following characteristics:

Involves a high degree of technical risk and differentiation. Aspects that might indicate such a profile include:

  • The proposed technical objectives have never been attempted and/or successfully achieved before;
  • Proving technical feasibility of the proposed product or service requires overcoming large technical hurdles (that the NSF-funded R&D work is intended to address); and
  • Competing firms with relevant technical expertise would still find it difficult or even impossible to replicate or reverse engineer the proposed product or service (if the project is successful).

Has the potential for significant commercial impact and/or societal benefit. Aspects that indicate such a project might include:

  • The proposed product or service has the potential to disrupt the targeted market segment;
  • The proposed product or service addresses an important and scalable, yet-unfulfilled need for the target customer base
  • The proposer small business is structured and staffed to focus on aggressive commercialization of the product/service
  • The proposer small business can provide evidence of good product-market fit (as validated by direct and significant interaction with customers and related stakeholders);
  • The proposed product or service offers the potential for broader societal benefit (through commercialization under a sustainable business model).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184701

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$75,000,000

Number of Grants:

300

Estimated Size of Grant:

Proposals may be submitted for up to $256,000.

Term of Contract:

Funding is intended to support projects from 6-12 months in duration.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
- Firms qualifying as a small business concern are eligible to participate in the SBIR program (see Eligibility Guide for more information). Please note that the size limit of 500 employees includes affiliates. The firm must be in compliance with the SBIR Policy Directive(s) and the Code of Federal Regulations (13 CFR 121); and
- Firms that have received an official invitation to submit a proposal from the cognizant NSF SBIR Program Director within the past twelve months. To receive the invitation, potential proposers must submit a Project Pitch document and receive an official response (via email) from the cognizant Program Director.

The primary employment of the PI must be with the small business concern at the time of award and for the duration of the award, unless a new PI is named. Primary employment is defined as at least 51 percent employed by the small business. NSF normally considers a full-time work week to be 40 hours and considers employment elsewhere of greater than 19.6 hours per week to be in conflict with this requirement. The PI must have a legal right to work for the proposing company in the United States, as evidenced by citizenship, permanent residency or an appropriate visa. The PI does not need to be associated with an academic institution. There are no PI degree requirements (i.e., the PI is not required to hold a Ph.D. or any other degree). A PI may be primarily employed at another organization at the time of submission, as long as he or she is primarily employed at the proposing small business at the time of award. A PI must devote a minimum of one calendar month of effort per six months of performance to an SBIR Phase I project.

Objectives Not Responsive to the Solicitation:
- Evolutionary development or incremental modification of established products or proven concepts;
Straightforward engineering efforts with little technical risk;
- Evaluation or testing of existing products; and basic scientific research unconnected to any specific market opportunity or potential new product, process or service;
- Examples of project objectives that are not appropriate to include as part of an NSF-funded effort are non- technical efforts (such as business development, market research, and sales and marketing).

Pre-Application Information:

Submission Window Date(s) (due by 5:00 PM submitter's local time):
- December 18, 2019 - March 05, 2020
- March 06, 2020 - June 04, 2020
- June 05, 2020 - September 03, 2020
- September 04, 2020 - December 03, 2020

Small businesses can submit a Project Pitch at any time. Small businesses that have been invited to submit a full proposal can submit a proposal based on that Project Pitch at any time during one of the submission windows listed above.

NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase I proposers are required to submit a three-page "Project Pitch" that outlines the project objectives, technical innovation and associated technical risks. The Project Pitch gives NSF the ability to provide feedback prior to the full proposal submission process, ensuring that proposers do not expend time or resources preparing full proposals that are clearly not aligned with the NSF SBIR program objectives.

In addition to the general eligibility requirements, submission of a full proposal requires that the proposer:
- Register in the System for Award Management (SAM), Research.gov, and SBIR.gov. To register with SAM, the small business must have a valid DUNS number. These registrations take time, so it is recommended to start several weeks or a month prior to the proposal deadline.

Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this program solicitation through use of the NSF FastLane system.

Typically, small businesses will be notified of the award decision four to six months after the submission deadline.

SBIR Solicitation: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2020/nsf20527/nsf20527.htm

PAPPG: https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=pappg

Detailed FastLane Instructions: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Project Pitch online form:
https://nsfgov.secure.force.com/sbir/

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

Henry Ahn, Biomedical (BM) Technologies and Medical Devices (MD)
(703) 292-7069
hahn@nsf.gov

Peter Atherton, Information Technologies (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Quantum Information Technologies (QT)
(703) 292-8772
patherto@nsf.gov

Anna Brady-Estevez, Chemical Technologies (CT), Energy Technologies (EN), and Distributed Ledger (DL)
(703) 292-7077
abrady@nsf.gov

Steven Konsek, Advanced Materials (AM), Power Management (PM), Semiconductors (S), and Other Topics (OT)
(703) 292-7021
skonsek@nsf.gov

Rajesh Mehta, Environmental Technologies (ET)
(703) 292-2174
rmehta@nsf.gov

Linda K. Molnar, Advanced Manufacturing (M) and Nanotechnology (N)
(703) 292-8316
lmolnar@nsf.gov

Alastair Monk, Pharmaceutical Technologies (PT) and Digital Health (DH)
(703) 292-4392
amonk@nsf.gov

Muralidharan S. Nair, Robotics (R) and Wireless Technologies (W)
(703) 292-7059
mnair@nsf.gov

Erik Pierstorff, Biological Technologies (BT)
(703) 292-2165
epiersto@nsf.gov

Rick Schwerdtfeger, Internet of Things (I), Photonics (PH), Instrumentation and Hardware Systems (IH), and Space Technologies (SP)
(703) 292-8353
rschwerd@nsf.gov

For FastLane user support, contact:
FastLane Help Desk
1-800-673-6188
fastlane@nsf.gov

America's Seed Fund
National Science Foundation
2415 Eisenhower Ave.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Tel: (703) 292-8050

CFDA Number:

47.041 Engineering, 47.049 Mathematical and Physical Sciences, 47.050 Geosciences, 47.070 Computer and Information Science and Engineering, 47.074 Biological Sciences, 47.075 Social Behavioral and Economic Sciences, 47.076 Education and Human Resources, 47.079 Office of International Science and Engineering, 47.083 Office of Integrative Activities (OIA)

Funding or Pin Number:

NSF 20-527

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

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