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America's Seed Fund Update for August 2021

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August 12, 2021
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August 2021



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SBA Awards 33 States to Provide Small Businesses SBIR/STTR Assistance 

The U.S. Small Business Administration issued 33 Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program awards this week for specialized training, mentoring, and technical assistance to improve outcomes in the SBIR/STTR programs. Recipients cover a wide geographic area, and include state and local economic development organizations, Small Business Technology Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Procurement Technical Assistance Centers, incubators, accelerators, colleges, and universities.  All organizations will provide support to small businesses developing advanced technologies and support underserved communities by increasing participation from women-owned, rural-based, and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses. More information is available in the award announcement, and the full list of FAST awardees is at sbir.gov/about-fast

Recordings from the 2021 National SBIR Week are Now Posted! 

Whether or not you were one of the more than 5,000 people who registered to attend National SBIR Week, presentations are now available to view. Learn how to start your SBIR application, hear from agency program managers on the most common and avoidable applicant mistakes, discover what agencies look for in transitioning from Phase I to Phase II and on to Phase III, and more! Recordings of the Minority Business Development Agency’s InVision tour, with SBIR awardee perspectives and how to partner with Federal labs or Minority Serving Institutions, are also now availableRead a summary of the week with resource links. 

DOE Funding Opportunity Now Open, Apply to Phase 0 Application Assistance Program 

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) SBIR/STTR office released their Phase I funding opportunity on August 9 and still has space in their Phase 0 application assistance program. DOE’s Phase 0 program focuses on helping first-time SBIR/STTR applicants understand the proposal process and prepare competitive applications. More information is available here, and the agency’s current funding topics are available here.  

SBIR/STTR Innovation Conference to be Held In-Person this October 

Join us on October 18 – 20, 2021 at the Gaylord at National Harbor, for the 2021 SBIR/STTR Innovation Conference. The event will convene past, current, and potential SBIR/STTR applicants, as well as researchers, small businesses, and agency officials. There will be opportunities to hear from past SBIR/ STTR awardees and agency SBIR/STTR program managers as they outline funding, strategies, and support for American innovation. The SBIR/ STTR Innovation Conference will run concurrently with the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo. These exciting events provide opportunities to learn more about the SBIR/STTR programs and potentially connect with innovators across technology areas. More information about the SBIR/STTR conference is available here, and the full TechConnect program is available here

Please note the conference organizer, TechConnect, is closely monitoring COVID-19 pandemic updates and will ensure optimum levels of safety throughout the conferences.  

The 2021 Annual National HBCU Week Conference Coming to DC in September 

The White House Initiative on HBCUs will work with agencies, private-sector employers, educational associations, philanthropic organizations, and other partners to increase the capacity of HBCUs to provide the highest-quality education to an increasing number of students. Register today for the 2021 Annual National HBCU Week Conference, September 7-10, 2021, at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C.  

SBA to Hold National Small Business Week in September 

The SBA announced its 2021 National Small Business Week Virtual Summit will take place September 13-15, 2021. This year’s events will spotlight the resilience and renewal of America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs as they continue building back better from an economic crisis spurred by a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. The virtual summit will honor the nation’s 30 million small businesses for their perseverance, ingenuity, triumphs, and creativity.  Information on how to participate in the summit is available here.  


SBIR News & Updates

Dept. Of Agriculture (USDA) FY 2021-2022 SBIR/STTR Solicitation to be Released Soon 

The USDA intends to release its FY 2021-2022 SBIR Phase I solicitation sometime in August with a close date approximately two months later. 

Help is Available For Preparing a Responsive Proposal 

Interested in learning how to prepare a responsive proposal to solicitation guidelines? Check out the online tutorial available to help you understand the proposal evaluation criteria, develop a proposal preparation schedule, build a winning team, and more. Access the full tutorial on proposal preparation, and check out all the courses available to help you learn more about the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs at sbir.gov/tutorials


Recently Opened SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunities

Dept. of Defense (DoD) 

Army SBIR 2021.4 

  • A214-039 Holistic Wind Correction for Aviation Targeting. Closes 8/24/2021.  
  • A214-014 Tethered UAS (Te-UAS). Opens 8/28/2021. Closes 9/22/2021. 

Space Development Agency (SDA) SBIR/STTR  

  • HQ085021S0001-11,-12 Commercial SAR and Scatterometry (COSAS).  Closes 8/26/2021. 

Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) 

Dept. of Energy (DOE) 

  • FY 2022 SBIR/STTR – Phase I Release 1.  Topics Issued on 7/12/2021.  Funding Opportunity Announcement opened 8/9/2021. Letters of Intent (LOI) due 8/30/2021.  Closes 10/12/2021. 
  • FY 2022 SBIR/STTR - Phase 0. First-time SBIR/ STTR applicants should apply now for limited spots to receive application assistance.  

Events & Education

Department of the Air Force SBIR/STTR Program Opportunities Info Session | Aug. 18, 3 – 4 p.m. ET | Register for the free webinar.  

Invention-Con 2021: Capitalizing on your Intellectual Property | Aug. 18 – 20 | Register for the free, online event. 

SBIR/STTR 101: Elements of an NIH SBIR/STTR Proposal | Aug. 25, 1 – 2 p.m. ET | Register for this free, virtual workshop featuring an overview of all the required sections for an NIH Phase I. 

TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo | Oct. 18 – 20, Washington, D.C. | Register 

Look for upcoming events at sbir.gov/events. 


R&D Spotlight

Useful Stats: SBIR/STTR Application Success Rates Decreased from 2019 to 2020 at NASA 

An SSTI data analysis finds that in fiscal year (FY) 2020 small businesses were less successful in obtaining SBIR and STTR funding from NASA than they were in FY 2019. A helpful metric used by organizations dedicated to supporting technology startups and bolstering local innovation economies is the success rate of companies applying to the SBIR/STTR programs. Understanding how successful local companies are at submitting quality applications and winning SBIR/STTR awards can better assist in designing outreach, education, technical assistance, mentorship, and other entrepreneurial support programs. This edition of Useful Stats examines recently updated NASA data on the agency’s SBIR/STTR application success rates by state from 2019 to 2020. 

USPTO Announces Deadline for Patents for Humanity COVID-19 Award 

September 30, 2021 at 5 p.m. ET is the final deadline for submitting an application to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its Patents for Humanity COVID-19 award. Award winners will receive a certificate to accelerate USPTO processing for one eligible matter. This new award category was launched April 5, 2021, for patent applicants, holders, and licensees whose inventions track, prevent, diagnose, or treat COVID-19. The program highlights COVID-19 success stories that inspire others to harness innovation for human progress and any U.S. patent or patent application that addresses COVID-19 is eligible for this award. For details about how to apply, visit the USPTO’s Patents for Humanity COVID-19 page on the USPTO website.  


Highlights for Ecosystem Builders

EDA Announces $3 billion in Funding for American Rescue Plan Programs 

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced $3 billion in funding for their American Rescue Plan programs. These programs are intended to help communities build back better following the coronavirus pandemic and prepare communities for future economic shocks. The EDA is administering this funding under six different programs with varying eligibility and application deadlines. For those interested in learning more about the programs or applying, visit EDA’s American Rescue Plan programs page.  

EDA Announces STEM Talent Challenge 

The EDA announced the STEM Talent Challenge which will support programs to train talent and fuel STEM-focused regional economies. The challenge is funded at $2 million and applicants can request up to $250,000 to implement 24-month workforce programs. The deadline to apply is October 12, 2021 and EDA will host a webinar to provide more details regarding the application process. Updates can be found here.  


Local Assistance - Meet FAST

The Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program funded 24 organizations this year, building the SBIR/STTR ecosystem through outreach, technical assistance, and financial support. Meet two of the FAST awardees: 

The Tom Love Innovation Hub at the University of Oklahoma supports companies as they pursue SBIR/STTR awards through the OK Catalyst program. The Tom Love Innovation Hub was also a 2020 Tibbetts Award winner.  

VertueLab is a cleantech venture development organization in the Pacific Northwest but their SBIR/STTR assistance is available to all small businesses in Oregon.  

Find local assistance near you at: sbir.gov/local-assistance


SBIR Success – Local Support Organizations Enabling SBIR/STTR Success

BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting, LLC 

Over the past 18 years, the program has assisted over 400 companies, trained more than 1,200 attendees, and $302 million has been awarded to Michigan companies directly served by the program. In 2018 alone, BBCetc worked with SBIR/STTR applicants and support organizations in 32 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Learn more about this women-owned business and Tibbetts Award winner. 

Delaware Small Business Development Center Going Strong for Over 35 Years 

Since 2016, 73 percent of all Delaware-based technology companies receiving SBIR funds have been clients of the Delaware Small Business Development Center (DSBDC) and these clients received 86% of all SBIR/STTR funds awarded in the state. Since 2015, the DSBDC technology team has delivered over 1,800 hours of technical assistance to over 220 next generation technology businesses, 55% of which were women- or minority-owned, and 26% were clients from under- represented and rural areas. Learn more about this Tibbetts Award winner and three-time Federal and State Technology (FAST) partnership program grant winner. 

Louisiana Technology Transfer Office 

LTTO has provided SBIR/STTR assistance to 1,000+ small companies, university faculty, and entrepreneurs with 85 Phase I & II awards made to LA small businesses from 2016-2019. Louisiana has also doubled its Phase III success rate, securing $35 million in Phase III federal contracts. LTTO is the SBIR/STTR lead for the entire state and has been a part of the state’s FAST program.  

Wisconsin Center for Technology Commercialization 

Since 2005, the CTC has helped Wisconsin small businesses win over $132 million in SBIR/STTR funds and more than $271 million in additional capital. Since 2016, the CTC has seen a 132% increase in rural submissions, an 84% increase in minority-led awards, and a 42% increase in women-led awards. The CTC’s diverse team and client-focus is critical to their past and continued successes.  

Get inspired by more SBIR company stories at sbir.gov/news/success-stories and learn about all the 2020 Tibbetts Award winners at https://www.tibbettsawards.com/


SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunities

Find more funding opportunities and specific topic areas at sbir.gov/funding. 

Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)  

  • FY 2021-2022 solicitation expected sometime in August. 

Dept. of Defense (DoD) – All open topics 

Army SBIR 2021.4 

  • A214-041 Tethered UAS (Te-UAS). Closes 9/22/2021. 

DARPA SBIR  

  • HQ085021S0001-11 Commercial SAR and Scatterometry (COSAS). Closes 8/26/2021. 

Dept. of Energy (DOE) 

  • DE-FOA-0002504: Reducing Emissions of Methane Every Day of The Year (Remedy) Methane Emissions Abatement Program.  Closes 8/25/2021. 
  • FY 2022 SBIR/STTR – Phase I Release 1: Funding Opportunity Announcement opened on 8/9/2021. Letters of Intent due 8/30/2021. Full applications due 10/12/2021. 

Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) 

  • Advancing Validated Drug Targets for Substance Use Disorders: SBIR and STTR. Due 2/18/2022. 

Targeted funding opportunities from HHS on specific topics with various upcoming due dates can be found here

National Science Foundation (NSF) 

  • NSF SBIR and STTR Phase I. Project Pitches are always accepted. Remaining submission window close dates: 9/2/2021 and 12/2/2021. 

About America's Seed Fund Update

Our goal is to provide a range of information that will be valuable to the SBIR/STTR programs’ various stakeholders, and future issues will include features on program data, impacts and policies, and more. If you have suggestions, let us know at technology@sba.gov.

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About SBA Office of Innovation and Technology

The U.S. Small Business Administration serves as the coordinating agency for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs - also known as America's Seed Fund. SBA also manages the related Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program and Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Learn more at sbir.gov.

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