Grants and Funding
SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act Of 2011: NIH Implementation Of Key Changes

Key Changes (Provided by SBA) NIH IMPLEMENTATION

Set-aside percentages are increased. For FY 2012, SBA has issued guidelines to the agencies that the set-aside share is increased to 2.6%, prior to the new Policy Directives being issued. The share will increase by 0.1 percentage point each fiscal year until it reaches 3.2% for fiscal year 2017. It will remain at that level after that. For STTR, the set-aside percent was increased to 0.35% for 2012 and 2013, and will increase to 0.4% for 2014 and 2015, and to 0.45% for 2016 and thereafter. Note that agencies may exceed these minimum percentages.

Effective immediately. The 2013 annual SBIR and STTR omnibus grant solicitation, the 2013 annual SBIR contract solicitation (just released in August 2012), and all future Funding Opportunity Announcements will reflect the new percentages.

The budgets for fiscal year 2014 awards are:

  • $TBD SBIR 2.8%
  • $TBD STTR 0.40%

Award sizes. STTR award sizes (guideline amounts) are increased to match SBIR amounts: $150,000 for Phase I and $1 million for Phase II. Awards may not exceed guideline amounts by more than 50% ($225,000 for Phase I and $1.5 million for Phase II). Agencies must report all awards exceeding the guideline amounts and must receive a special waiver from SBA to exceed the guideline amounts by more than 50%.

NIH has had the flexibility to make awards that exceeded the guidelines by up to 50% for those biomedical projects that warranted doing so. For those cases where exceeding the guideline by more than 50% is still needed, NIH can request waivers from SBA. Keeping the Congressional guidelines in mind, applicants should continue to request what is realistically needed to complete their proposed work.

Applicants are required to follow the Award Budget instructions within each NIH SBIR/STTR solicitation.

Admin funding pilot. A new pilot program permitting agencies to use 3% of their SBIR funds for administration of SBIR and STTR programs. Each agency must submit their plan of work to SBA for approval by 10/1/2012. The funds should be used to provide added support rather than simply replace the non-SBIR funds formerly used, and the work should focus on material improvements in performance of the program on critical issues (e.g. streamlining the award process). While the funding comes from the SBIR budget only, it is to be used for administration of both programs.

NIH has received authority from SBA to conduct an admin fund pilot.

Technical assistance. The amount of SBIR funds permitted to be used for technical assistance is raised from $4000 to $5000 per award per year. This is to be in addition to the award amount for both Phase I and Phase II. Awardees may contract this amount to a provider other than the vendor selected by the agency.

NIH will continue to offer its Niche Assessment Program for Phase I awardees and Commercialization Assistance Program for Phase II awardees and they will now be offered to its SBIR AND STTR awardees. Announcements for these programs will appear in the Fall 2013 in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts.  Visit the Guide Listserv website to sign up. (Additional information on NIH's assistance programs is available on the SBIR/STTR Technical Assistance site). 

With the launch of the PHS 2013-2 Omnibus solicitations, applicants wishing to utilize their own technical assistance vendor can request up to $5,000 for assistance.  See solicitations for details.  Please note, if funds are requested to utilize your own technical assistance vendor and an award is made, the awardee is not eligible to apply for the NIH-provided technical assistance program for the phase of their award.
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This page last updated on May 31, 2013
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