NSF SBIR program and I-Corps


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NSF SBIR program and I-Corps

  1. The National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs Errol Arkilic [email_address] Office of Integrative Activities Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships
  2. Sources of Funding for Innovation 12/22/11 Valhalla Confidential Venture Capital Angels / Friends & Family Private Equity Company Profits Non-profits / Grants The Government Commercial Banks
  3. Small Business Investors Accelerate Innovation Innovation Spectrum ENG NSF GOALI I/UCRC PFI ERC NSF STTR NSF SBIR Industry Valley of Death -----------II-R---- ------II-B--------------------- ------------- Supplements Resources Available ($) Discovery Development Commercialization Level of Development Unbridgable Gulf of Death I-Corps
  4. The design, invention, development and/or implementation of new or altered products, services, processes, systems, organizational structures, or business models for the purpose of creating new value for customers and financial returns for the firm Innovation* *Innovation Measurement A Report to the Secretary of Commerce January 2008
  5. NSF Mission <ul><li>To promote the progress of science and engineering; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense </li></ul>
  7. What is your Enterprise Risk Profile? (are you NSF SBIR material) Venture Capital Threshold Angel Capital Threshold Economic Development Funds Threshold NSF SBIR/STTR Threshold Technology Risk Market Risk People Risk Finance Risk Friends, Family (and Fools) Threshold Senior Debt Threshold
  8. SBIR Program Information <ul><li>Funding Level </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NSF ~$120 million at NSF (for Phase I, Phase II, Phase IIB combined) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Federal ~$2.6 billion total in FY11 (11 agencies) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SBIR = 2.5% and STTR = 0.3% of NSF budget </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Applicant must be a for-profit Small Business </li></ul><ul><li>(500 or fewer employees) located in the U.S. </li></ul><ul><li>At least 51% U.S.- owned by individuals and independently operated </li></ul><ul><li>PI’s primary employment is with small business during the project </li></ul>
  9. Funding Criteria <ul><li>Must be high-payback innovations involving high risk* and commercial potential </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate strategic partnerships with research collaborators, customers and equity investors </li></ul><ul><li>We do NOT fund </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Evolutionary optimization of existing products and processes or modifications to broaden the scope of an existing product, process or application </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analytical or “market” studies of technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>* From the market viewpoint </li></ul></ul>
  10. NSF SBIR Program <ul><li>$120 M/year in chunks of $150K (Phase I) and $500K (Phase II) </li></ul><ul><li>Broad topics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Biotech and Chemical Technologies – 3 Program Managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information and Communications Technology – 3 Program Managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nano/Advanced Materials and Manufacturing – 4 Program Managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Education Applications – 1 Program Manager </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Placing bets on high-risk/high-impact innovation research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>NOT Basic Research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NOT Equity Investment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NOT contract R&D </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solicitation released twice per year (in Sept. and March) </li></ul><ul><li>Two due dates: Dec. and June </li></ul><ul><li>All proposals are externally-reviewed </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewers: Equity Investors, Industrial, Academic </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reviews: Technology and Commercial reviewers </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Dialog encouraged throughout the process </li></ul><ul><li>Decision made three-four months after proposal receipt </li></ul><ul><li>Cash in the bank 6 mos after proposal receipt </li></ul><ul><li>After the cash, immersion in NSF network </li></ul>
  11. Review Criteria (Technical) <ul><li>Intellectual Merit </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A sound approach to establish technical & commercial feasibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical Team qualifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sufficient access to resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflects “state-of-the-art” </li></ul></ul>
  12. Review Criteria (Commercial) <ul><li>Broader/Commercial Impacts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What may be the commercial and societal benefits of the proposed activity? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If the benefit is primarily commercial, does the potential impact warrant significant NSF support? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the business team possess the relevant skills to commercialize the proposed innovation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In what business skill areas is the team lacking and how do they plan to fill these gaps? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Has the proposing firm successfully commercialized SBIR/STTR-supported technology where prior awards have been made? (Or, has the firm been successful at commercializing technology that has not received SBIR/STTR support?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluate the competitive advantage of this technology vs. alternate technologies that can meet the same market needs. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Does the proposal lead to enabling technologies (instrumentation, software, etc.) for further innovation? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How well is the proposed activity positioned to attract further funding from non-SBIR sources once the SBIR project ends? </li></ul></ul>
  13. NSF SBIR Program <ul><li>World’s biggest seed-stage program </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on market not technology </li></ul><ul><li>Powerful transition tool </li></ul><ul><li>Deep ties to private sector </li></ul><ul><li>High-leverage for post-academic effort </li></ul>
  14. Lessons Learned <ul><li>“ Market Issues” biggest reasons for failure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No one cared </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competition was stiffer than believed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Team is more important than idea </li></ul><ul><li>It costs WAY MORE to get to market </li></ul><ul><li>Education/Intervention can help </li></ul><ul><li>IP is overvalued at (almost) all stages </li></ul>
  15. <ul><li>Thank You </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>