Why to recruit transition partners and how that improves your hit rate
The goal of every SBIR project should be to develop a commercial product. In cases where the DOD or NASA are the intended customers, then teaming with a DOD/NASA prime can facilitate the transition of your technology into relevant platforms.
Key features of a strong commercialization plan
The commercialization section is an often neglected component of an SBIR proposal and it shouldn’t be. As I mentioned in my last article (see it here), a weak commercialization strategy is one of the most prevalent SBIR debrief comments we see.
In my experience, there are several key features of a strong commercialization plan that need to be articulated in Phase I and Phase II SBIR proposals. I have laid out a series of questions below that will help you address these.
Common Debrief Comments (And how to avoid them)
I’ve reviewed scores, if not hundreds, of proposal debriefs over the past 15 years and some clear patterns have emerged. Below are some of the most common types of debrief comments that I’ve seen and some straightforward methods to avoid them.
Be sure to talk with your topic authors
For most agencies, technical points of contact (TPOCs) are available to answer questions and provide clarification. Be sure to check your specific solicitation for guidelines regarding when the TPOCs may be reached, and what kind of information may be shared. Talking with the TPOC is the first critical step to vetting the topic and ensuring that you have a compelling technology. Generally, we suggest abandoning an SBIR topic if you are unable to talk to the TPOC listed for it.
Here are some basic questions that we like to cover in this discussion:
Are you taking advantage of DTA?
Many U.S. government agencies contract with a third party to provide commercialization services to small businesses with an active Phase I or Phase II SBIR award. However, many of these agencies will give you additional funding on your SBIR to select your own provider through an option called Discretionary Technical Assistance (DTA).