The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program offers opportunities for entrepreneurs to create solutions to critical issues facing America. It helps innovators gain federal grants for research & development that align with essential U.S. priorities.
The SBIR grants are federal funding that small businesses receive to ‘support scientific excellence and technological innovation.’ SBIR funding is more attractive because the government does not own a percentage of your company. This is not the case with other sources of financing.
Writing SBIR Proposal
Before writing your proposal, you need to know ‘what is SBIR?.’ You should also thoroughly vet the avenues of funding available to your business. Look for grants that fit your research. Look at the protocol requirements posted by each agency. The grant has a review structure to review your Abstract, Summary, Aims, Innovation and closely monitors Significance and Approach.
Tips to Write A Competitive SBIR
Tip 1: Finding the Right Agency
The funding allocations for small businesses are available based on the agency’s requirements. Biotechnology and medical technology-related innovations are available under the National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF). So, finding the right fit matters for you to get your grant.
Tip 2: Selecting The Right Funding Program
SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are two significant funding mechanisms. They have specific work requirements for the grant to be given. You need to prove your business is involved in the experiment design and data interpretation. The STTR doesn’t allow you to find other ways to fund a new business.
Tip 3: Know Your Program Officer
The Program Officer (PO) creates the portfolio for the types of projects they need. The PO can also recommend projects for grants. They are also excellent sources for information and insight on your project and its need or what it lacks. Establish a good working relationship with your PO, and they might be able to help you refine your grant and/or fast-track your proposal. They can also offer recommendations to other government grant avenues you can pursue.
Tip 4: Filing Your Business Registration
Both the NSF and NIH have stipulations requiring you to register your business. They will also need to see your identification numbers. You shouldn’t miss out on a grant because your company was not registered. So, it’s crucial to have your business registration in place before you apply for the grant. If you have plans to become a government contractor, you must register to do business with the federal government.
Tip 5: Know Your Audience
Your review panel will have professionals from many industries. It would help if you wrote for a wider audience while maintaining relevance. Please don’t shy away from the pitfalls when writing your proposal because it will inevitably come up. Pay close attention to proof-of-concept data, commercial need, and your approach.
Keep the application forthright and easy to understand when writing your grant proposal. The less inconvenient it is for the reviewers, the better the chances of your grant receiving approval.
Linda Rawson, who is the founder of DynaGrace Enterprises (dynagrace.com), an 8(a) graduate and EDWOSB, contributed to the content of this blog. She is the founder of GovCon-Biz. For further information, please connect with Linda on LinkedIn, or contact her at (800) 676-0058 ext 101.
Please reach out to us at GovCon-Biz should you have any questions.