Research grants are a great source of non-dilutive capital that can enable you to further de-risk the science and technology that serve as the foundation of your business. Additionally, they can be an effective way to externally validate your ideas and research plan. The challenge is that the grant review process can be lengthy and there are limitations on what the funds can be used for. Tips on obtaining small business grants are included here and here.
2014 SBIR/STTR Omnibus announcement
The 2014 Omnibus Grant Solicitations of the NIH, CDC, FDA and ACF are now available for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Please note that applicants may now switch between the SBIR and STTR programs for the Omnibus solicitation and all NIH SBIR/STTR funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). A FOA for a Direct SBIR Phase II will be coming soon-- stay tuned to the NIH SBIR homepage for details.
Please find the 2014 SBIR/STTR Omnibus solicitations and accompanying resources below:
Standard Application Due Dates: April 5, August 5, and December 5, 2014.
AIDS and AIDS-related Application Due Dates: May 7 2014, September 7 2014, January 7, 2015.
Small business concerns (SBCs) may also check the Special Announcements Table on the NIH SBIR website
for targeted NIH SBIR/STTR FOAs issued by individual Institutes and Centers (ICs).
NIH's SBIR/STTR Niche Assessment Program
The NIH’s SBIR/STTR Niche Assessment Program (NAP) is a nationwide program to help jump-start an SBIR/STTR Phase I awardee's commercialization efforts. Technology Niche Analyses® are provided by Foresight for 138 NIH SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees. These analyses are often awarded on a first come, first served basis and assess potential applications for a technology and then for one viable application, it provides an assessment of the:
1. needs and concerns of end-users;
2. competing technologies and competing products;
3. competitive advantage of the SBIR/STTR-developed technology;
4. market size and potential market
5. barriers to market entry (pricing, competition, government regulations, manufacturing challenges, capital, etc.);
6. market drivers;
7. status of market and industry trends;
8. potential customers, licensees, investors, or other commercialization partners; and,
9. the price customers are likely to pay.
Each participant receives an in-depth report. Oftentimes the small business can use this information in their commercialization plans for their Phase II applications. For more information, see Notice NOT-OD-13-109 that was placed in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on August 28, 2013.
LSDF 2013-2014 Granting Programs
The Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) is now accepting pre-proposals from Washington for-profit and non-profit organizations for the following types of grants:
- Proof of Concept grants (up to $250,000 per award) to enhance the commercial viability of intellectual property developed by non-profit organizations or enhance the competitiveness of early-stage companies for private equity investment.
- Entrepreneur Mentoring Program Grant up to $300,000 over two years to support an initiative to mentor entrepreneurs within Washington state companies attempting to commercialize products and services that improve human health and health care.
The Request for Proposals, application documents and grant competitions calendar are available here.