Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

Funding Opportunity Title

Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) Team Training Pilot Program for NIH Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grantees (Admin Supp)

Activity Code

Administrative Supplement

Additional funds may be awarded as supplements to parent awards using the following Activity Code(s):

Administrative supplement requests may be submitted electronically for the following activity codes:

R41 Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant - Phase I only
R43 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant - Phase I only

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PAR-14-261

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.350, 93.393, 93.394, 93.395, 93.396, 93.399, 93.837, 93.838, 93.839, 93.853, 93.233

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, seeks to develop and nurture a national innovation ecosystem that builds upon biomedical research to develop technologies, products and services that benefit society.  Toward meeting this objective, the NIH is collaborating with the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help accelerate the commercialization of early stage biomedical technologies by leveraging the NSF's established I-Corps™ team training program, which is focused on educating researchers and technologists on how to translate technologies from the lab into the marketplace.  Under this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), participating NIH Institutes and Centers will provide administrative supplement awards to a pilot cohort of currently-funded SBIR and STTR Phase I grantees to support entrepreneurial training under the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program at the NIH.  The program is designed to provide three-member project teams with access to instruction and mentoring in order to accelerate the translation of technologies currently being developed with NIH SBIR and STTR funding.  It is anticipated that outcomes for the I-Corps™ teams participating in this program will include significantly refined commercialization plans and well-informed pivots in their overall commercialization strategies.  Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIH Scientific/Research staff for more information about this pilot program before applying.  

Key Dates
Posted Date

June 18, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

July 7, 2014 

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

July 7, 2014

Application Due Date(s)

August 7, 2014, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

Not Applicable

Advisory Council Review

Not Applicable

Earliest Start Date

September, 2014

Expiration Date

August 8, 2014   

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Application Guide (SF424 (R&R) Application Guide or PHS 398 Application Guide, as appropriate) except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.


Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information


Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Introduction

America's prosperity has originated in part from the ability to capitalize economically on ground-breaking discoveries from science and engineering research.  Simultaneously, a knowledgeable, creative U.S. workforce has maintained the country's global leadership in critical areas of technology.  These important discoveries and capable workforce resulted from substantial, sustained investment in science and engineering.  A strong capacity for leveraging fundamental scientific discoveries into powerful engines of innovation is essential to maintain our competitive edge in the future.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the nation’s medical research agency, making important discoveries in basic research and translational medicine that improve health and save lives.  Successful biomedical research depends on the talent and dedication of the scientific workforce, and the NIH supports many innovative training programs that foster scientific creativity and exploration, with the goals of strengthening our nation’s research capacity, broadening our research base, and inspiring a passion for science in future generations of researchers.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are NIH’s engine of innovation for developing and commercializing novel technologies and products to prevent, diagnose, and treat human disease.  These are Congressionally-mandated set-aside programs for domestic small business concerns (SBCs) to engage in research and development that has the potential for commercialization.  Both programs seek to increase the participation of small businesses in Federal R&D and to increase private sector commercialization of technologies developed through Federal R&D. 

Through this funding opportunity announcement (FOA), and in partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), the NIH seeks to accelerate the development and commercialization of new technologies, products and services that arise from projects supported by currently funded NIH SBIR and STTR Phase I grants.  It is anticipated that NIH investments in the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program will strengthen the U.S. innovation ecosystem by addressing challenges inherent in the early stages of the innovation process.  In particular, the I-Corps™ program is designed to support training, mentorship, and collaborations that will help project teams at NIH-funded small businesses overcome key obstacles along the path of innovation and/or commercialization.

Program Description

The goal of the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program is to accelerate the translation of biomedical research to the marketplace by providing training to NIH-funded SBIR and STTR grantees in the areas of innovation and entrepreneurship.  Under this program, the NIH and NSF will collaborate to nurture the development of early stage biomedical technologies by leveraging the NSF's established I-Corps™ program, which focuses on teaching researchers how to gain a clearer understanding of the value of their inventions in the marketplace, and ultimately how to advance their technologies from the research lab into the commercial world.  This program is designed to complement activities within the scope of the parent SBIR Phase I (R43) or STTR Phase I (R41) grant, to help accelerate the commercialization of new products and services derived from NIH-funded technical feasibility studies.

Through this program, I-Corps™ teams will participate in an Entrepreneurial Immersion course.  The I-Corps™ curriculum uses a hypothesis-driven method of customer discovery in order to gain insights into the issues associated with technology commercialization.  As part of this program, participants are required to get “out of the lab” and gather information by conducting a large number of interviews (i.e., 100+ interviews) with potential customers, strategic partners, and other third-party stakeholders.  During the course, I-Corps™ teams share what they learn with other teams, gaining new insights into the prospective impact of the technology being developed under the SBIR or STTR grant.  It is anticipated that the feedback and learning gained during the I-Corps™ program will help inform future Phase II SBIR/STTR projects and commercialization strategies.

The I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program will be supported through administrative supplement awards to active NIH SBIR and STTR Phase I grantees.  Administrative supplement awards are intended to only support travel and other costs associated with the training program.  Up to 24 teams will be selected to participate in the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program, which is expected to last approximately nine weeks.  The NIH anticipates that applicants receiving administrative supplements under this FOA will be enrolled in the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program beginning in the fall 2014.

I-Corps™ Teams

To apply under this program, eligible applicants must assemble three-member I-Corps™ teams that will work collaboratively to complete the activities and assignments required by the I-Corps™ training program. Applicants should designate teams consisting of the following members/roles:

  • C-Level Corporate Officer
  • Industry Expert
  • PD/PI

It is strongly recommended that the participating C-Level Corporate Officer should be the CEO of the applicant SBC; however, other C-Level corporate officers may also serve in this role.  In this context, C-Level refers to "Chief" Technology Officer, "Chief" Operating Officer, or similar level officer.  This person should have relevant knowledge of the technology and a deep commitment to investigate the commercial landscape surrounding the innovation.  This person should have substantial decision-making authority within the company to implement changes in direction regarding the overall commercialization strategy for the project/technology.  It is anticipated that the knowledge gained during the I-Corps™ training could have a significant impact on the corporate commercialization strategy; therefore, it is recommended that the C-Level Corporate Officer should lead the three-member I-Corps™ team.

The designated Industry Expert should be an experienced or emerging entrepreneur with proximity to the SBC and experience in translating technologies to the marketplace.  The Industry Expert may be someone that has an established relationship with the company (e.g., Board Member), or this person may be selected as a third-party resource.  Ideally, the Industry Expert should have prior experience in the development and commercialization of other products within the broader technology space related to the specific SBIR/STTR project under development.

The PD/PI on the SBIR/STTR Phase I award should participate as an active member of the I-Corps™ team.  The PD/PI has primary responsibility for achieving the technical success of the project, while also complying with the financial and administrative policies and regulations associated with the SBIR/STTR award.  In the scenario in which the PD/PI is also the CEO of the small business, applicants are encouraged to consider designating an alternate C-Level Corporate Officer to lead the team.

NOTE: It is anticipated that some applicants may benefit from additional guidance in determining how the organizational structure of their particular small business aligns with the expectations of the three I-Corps™ team members described above.  Questions about the roles of each team member and how to consider individuals that can fulfill each of these roles should be directed to an appropriate NIH staff member (see the listing of relevant Scientific/Research staff under Section VII).  In all cases, applicants are expected to designate a three member team.

Entrepreneurial Immersion

The I-Corps™ curriculum provides real world, hands-on, immersive learning about what it takes to successfully translate promising technologies into products or services that will benefit society.  At the beginning of the training program, I-Corps™ team members will be required to attend an intensive, three-day Entrepreneurial Immersion course together (location and dates will be made available following selection of the participating teams under this FOA).

The approach to develop the "technology disposition plan" will be a structured hypothesis/validation approach.  Here, the term "technology disposition plan" is defined as the strategy that will be implemented to advance the commercialization of the product/technology following the completion of the I-Corps™ curriculum.  The C-Level Corporate Officer (or designated team representative) will be responsible for leading the team along a content-guided path (over the course of the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program), to develop a final technology-disposition plan.

The I-Corps™ training program will introduce the concept of a "Business Model Canvas", which provides the framework that guides the I-Corps™ learning.  As part of this curriculum, each team must commit to pursuing a formal hypothesis-validation approach to identify and mitigate gaps in knowledge in the following seven areas:

  • Value Proposition of the proposed product or service;
  • Customer/User-case and pain point;
  • Demand Creation;
  • Channel Development;
  • Revenue Model;
  • Partnership Strategy; and
  • Resource Requirement.

To successfully complete the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program, the entire I-Corps™ team should be deeply committed and dedicated to the time-intensive curriculum.  Each team member should plan to spend at least 10-15 hours per week on I-Corps™ activities and learning exercises for the full duration of the 9-week (estimated) program.

Online Curriculum

During the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program, online content will be hosted by the NIH (or designee) to establish process and progress tracking.  The team's progress will be shared with the entire cohort of I-Corps™ teams to facilitate group learning.  Detailed information regarding the online curriculum content is available at the following Web site: sbir.cancer.gov/icorps

Report-Out Session & Lessons Learned

Each team must attend a two-day report-out session where final technology disposition plans are presented.  It is anticipated that outcomes for the participating I-Corps™ teams will include enhanced understanding and validation of the key components of the Business Model Canvas, significantly refined commercialization plans, and well-informed "pivots" in the overall commercialization strategy.  In this context, the term "pivot" is used to mean a reorientation or repositioning relative to the original commercialization strategy.

Prospective applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIH Scientific/Research staff for more information about this pilot program before submitting an application. 

Outcomes Evaluation

Outcomes resulting from the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program (e.g., refined commercialization plans), will be carefully evaluated before the NIH considers the possible continuation of this program.  As such, the NIH will seek to collect outcomes data from participating I-Corps™ teams immediately following the completion of the pilot program.  Evaluations by the NIH may include customer evaluation surveys, interviews, or other approaches to obtain feedback on the overall effectiveness of the training.  Outcomes data may also be collected by the NIH at different intervals following the completion of this pilot program.  Short-term evaluation metrics may focus on such areas as the key pivots that occurred in the commercialization strategy during the training program.  Mid-term metrics may focus on areas such as evaluating the relative success of participating teams in competing for future SBIR/STTR Phase II funding (as compared to SBIR/STTR Phase I grantees that did not participate in the I-Corps™ program).  Longer-term metrics may focus on tracking the success of I-Corps™ teams in raising funds from third-party investors, as well as consummation of partnerships critical to the commercialization of the products/technologies under development.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

The funding instrument will be the same as the parent award. 

Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

Application Types Allowed

Non-competing Administrative Supplements

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

The NIH intends to commit $600,000 in FY 2014 to fund 24 awards.

Award Budget

Application budgets are limited to no more than $25,000 and must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

The award budget should only be used to cover travel and other costs associated with participation in the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program.

Award Project Period

The project and budget periods must be within the currently approved project period for the existing parent award. Project periods for the parent award must extend (at least) through December 31, 2014.  

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

All organizations administering an eligible parent award may apply for a supplement under this announcement.

For-Profit Organizations

  • Small Businesses

This announcement is for supplements to existing projects. To be eligible, the parent award must be active and the training proposed in the supplement must be accomplished within the competitive segment. The proposed supplement must be to provide for an increase in costs due to unforeseen circumstances. All additional costs must be within the scope of the peer reviewed and approved project.

IMPORTANT: The research proposed by the NIH grantee in the supplement application must be within the original scope of the NIH-supported grant project.

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM. 
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons.If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Individual(s) must hold an active grant or cooperative agreement, and the research proposed in the supplement must be accomplished within the competitive segment of the active award. Individuals are encouraged to work with their organizations to develop applications for support.

For supplements to parent awards that include multiple PDs/PIs, the supplement may be requested by any or all of the PDs/PIs (in accordance with the existing leadership plan) and submitted by the awardee institution of the parent award. Do not use this administrative supplement application to add, delete, or change the PDs/PIs listed on the parent award. Visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for more information.

2. Cost Sharing

This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility

Only one supplement application per parent SBIR/STTR Phase I award is allowed under this FOA.  Applicant organizations with multiple, currently-active SBIR and/or STTR Phase I awards from the different participating Institutes and Centers listed on this FOA may choose only ONE award to serve as the predicate for an administrative supplement to support the I-Corps™ training program activity.  The NIH will not fund multiple administrative supplement awards to the same applicant organization under this FOA.

To apply for an administrative supplement award under this FOA, applicants must have received a prior SBIR or STTR Phase I grant from one of the participating ICs.  The predicate Phase I grant must extend (at least) through December 31, 2014 and the grant should have remaining budget and R&D activities that extend at least until that date.  Grant awards currently under a no-cost extension are eligible, provided they meet the above criteria.

NIH-funded SBIR Phase I contractors are not eligible to apply under this FOA.

NIH-funded SBIR/STTR Fast-Track grantees are eligible apply under this FOA provided that: (1) the applicant SBC is currently completing the Phase I portion of the award; and (2) the Phase I portion of the award extends (at least) through December 31, 2014.

 
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants must prepare applications using current forms in accordance with the Application Guide.

For electronic submissions, applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this announcement, or use the eRA Commons streamlined submission process.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

All forms must be completed for the supplemental activities only and must not reflect funding or activities for the previously awarded parent award.

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Application Guide (SF424 (R&R) Application Guide or PHS 398 Application Guide, as appropriate) except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed, with the following exceptions:

The Research Strategy section should not exceed 6 pages. .

Application Submission

Electronic submission of request for administrative supplements is only available for single-project activity codes for which competing applications are submitted electronically. Visit the list of single-project Activity Codes Processed Electronically by eRA to determine if the single-project activity code of the parent award has transitioned to electronic submission.  Submission of requests for administrative supplements for all other activity codes must use paper.

If the administrative supplement may be submitted electronically, then you may either (A) submit using the SF424 (R&R) Application Forms and Grants.gov/Apply, (B) submit using the streamlined submission process of eRA Commons, or (C) submit using the paper-based PHS 398 Application forms and the PHS 398 Application Guide.

Applicants submitting paper applications must use the PHS 398 Application Forms and the PHS 398 Application Guide.

Instructions for Submissions using Grants.gov/Apply for electronic-based submissions

For single project grants with activity codes that have transitioned to electronic submission using the SF424 (R&R) application forms, administrative supplement requests may be submitted electronically as a Revision application type on the R&R Cover Form. Prepare applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms associated with this announcement. Please note that some forms marked optional in the application package are required for submission of applications for this announcement. Follow all instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide to ensure you complete all appropriate required and optional forms.

NOTE: Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit SBIR/STTR supplement applications via the electronic-based submission process.

Special Instructions for Streamlined Submissions using the eRA Commons for electronic-based submissions

NIH now offers a streamlined system through the eRA Commons for submitting administrative supplements. Login to the eRA Commons, identify the parent award, and prepare an administrative supplement request. A User’s Guide for submitting through this system is available.

Include the Research Strategy and any other required documentation (described below) as a PDF file using the “Add Other Attachments” function.  Budget information should be entered for the grantee institution in the fields provided. There is no template or form available for subaward information; instead, all subaward information should be included as a separate attachment showing the funds requested (by budget period) using the same categories provided for the grantee institution. Also include a budget justification for the subawardee institution in the same file.

Instructions for Submissions using the PHS 398 Application Forms (for paper-based submissions)

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application forms and instructions for preparing a research grant application. The grantee institution, on behalf of the PD/PI of the parent award, must submit the request for supplemental funds directly to the awarding component that supports the parent award. Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the checklist, to the relevant IC listed below:

Christie Canaria, PhD
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
9609 Medical Center Drive, 1W560
Bethesda, MD 20892-9706 (Postal Address)
Rockville, MD 20850 (Physical Address)
Telephone: 240-276-5720
Email: canariaca@mail.nih.gov

Jennifer Shieh, PhD
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
6701 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-7922, Express Mail Zip 20817
Telephone:  301-443-8785
Email: jennifer.shieh@nih.gov

Stephanie Fertig, MBA
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
NSC, Room 2142
6001 Executive Blvd.
Bethesda, MD 20892-9521
Telephone: 301-496-1779
Email: fertigs@ninds.nih.gov

Lili Portilla, MPA
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
9800 Medical Center Drive, Room 311
Rockville MD  20850
Telephone: 301-217-2589
Email: portilll@mail.nih.gov

On the face page of the application form, note that your application is in response to a specific program announcement, and enter the title and number of this announcement.

PHS 398 Research Plan (Research Plan)

All instructions in the Application Guide must be followed for all Research Plan sections applicable to the proposed supplement activities. At a minimum, the Research Strategy section should be completed and must include a summary or abstract of the funded parent award or project. Other sections should also be included if they are being changed by the proposed supplement activities.

Research Strategy: The following section describes the required elements of the Research Strategy.

Summary of Predicate SBIR/STTR Phase I Grant

Applicants should provide a one-page executive summary of the predicate SBIR/STTR Phase I award that will serve as the basis for the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program.  This summary should include a brief description of the specific aims of the Phase I project, and it should describe any progress that has been made toward achieving the specific aims (current as of the time of the supplement request).  Applicants should also include a description of any technical, administrative, or commercial challenges that have been encountered and how those challenges have been addressed.

I-Corps™ Team and Project Plan

This section should include the following information:

I-Corps™ Team

  • Briefly describe the I-Corps™ team and provide the rationale for its formation, focusing on the team members' entrepreneurial expertise, experience bringing previous products to the market, relevance of the team's background to the innovation effort, and their experience in collaborating on previous projects.  The composition of the I-Corps™ team should reflect the requirements listed above under Section I (Program Description), to include a: (1) C-Level Corporate Officer; (2) Industry Expert; and (3) PD/PI.
  • Provide clear statements to indicate that all team members are able to meet the time-intensive requirements of the training program (expected to be 10-15 hours per week per team member).
  • Briefly describe how the team will benefit from the I-Corps™ team training program.
  • Discuss the team's willingness to modify/refine the overall commercialization strategy, based on knowledge gained during the course of the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program. 

Potential Commercial Impact

  • Briefly describe how this research has led the team to believe that a commercial opportunity exists for the SBIR/STTR Phase I project moving forward.
  • Provide a brief profile of a typical customer of the proposed innovation.
  • Describe the customer need(s) that will be met by the proposed innovation.
  • Describe how the customer currently meets those needs.
  • What is the competitive advantage that is offered by the proposed product or service?
  • How much would a customer pay for the solution (current best estimate)?

Project Plan

  • Describe the stage of development for the SBIR/STTR Phase I project that is currently under development (proof-of-concept, prototype stage, etc.)
  • Provide a brief description of the proof-of-concept or technology demonstration that will be provided by the end of the SBIR/STTR Phase I project.
  • Describe the next steps that the company will take to advance the project closer toward commercialization, assuming the outcomes of the SBIR/STTR Phase I award are promising.
Project/Performance Site Locations (Project/Performance Sites)

All instructions in the Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

  • Include the primary site where the proposed supplement activities will be performed.
  • If a portion of the proposed supplement activities will be performed at any other site(s), identify the locations in the fields provided.
Senior/Key Personnel Form

All instructions in the Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

  • List the PD/PI as the first person (regardless of their role on the supplement activities).
  • List any other Senior/Key Personnel who are being added through this supplement, or for whom additional funds are being requested through this supplement; include a biographical sketch for each.
  • Biographical sketches should highlight technical expertise and track records in successful technology and business development.  Exhaustive academic resumes are not appropriate.
  • The I-Corps™ team will consist of three roles (as described above under Funding Opportunity Description): (1) C-Level Corporate Officer; (2) Industry Expert; and (3) PD/PI.
R&R Detailed Budget Form (for use with electronic submissions)

All budgets should be submitted using the R&R Detailed Budget form, regardless of the form used for the parent award, and should only include funds requested for the additional supplement activities.

Only costs associated with participation in the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program may be requested under this FOA.  No recovery of indirect costs (F&A) will be allowed under this FOA.

Funds must be set aside for up to three persons (C-Level Corporate Officer, Industry Expert, and PD/PI) for mandatory attendance at:

  • a three-day grantee entrepreneurial immersion workshop (location and date to be announced, planned for the DC/Maryland/Virginia region), followed, approximately five weeks later, by
  • a two-day demonstration presentation workshop.

The intent of these workshops is to establish the foundation for the formal technology disposition of the project.

Proposers should estimate travel expenses for these two events plus approximately $1500 per person to cover workshop registration fees.

Remaining budget should be allocated (as appropriate) to cover personnel time for the I-Corps™ team members, as well as travel costs to conduct on-site customer development interviews in the appropriate geographical regions within the U.S.

Budget for the Entire Proposed Period of Support (for use with paper-based submissions)

A proposed budget should be submitted using the PHS 398 budget forms, in accordance with the PHS 398 Application Guide, and should only include funds requested for the additional supplement activities.     

Other Project Information (for use with electronic submissions); Appendix (use with paper-based submissions)

All instructions in the Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions:

Bibliography and References Cited: Applicants should provide a comprehensive list of relevant references, including patent citations.

Planned Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing the Planned Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing the Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Organizations must submit applications as described above. Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

For electronic application submission, information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424(R&R) Application Guide.

For paper-based application submission, information on the process of receipt and determining if your application is considered on-time is described in detail in the PHS 398 Application Guide.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted using the instructions specified above.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically.

Important reminders:
For applications submitted electronically on the SF424 (R&R) Application forms, all PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile form of the SF 424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the (SAM). Additional information may be found in the Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and/or responsiveness by the awarding Institute or Center. Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.

Post Submission Materials

Not Applicable

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

Administrative Supplements do not receive peer review. Instead, the administrative criteria described below will be considered in the administrative evaluation process.

The staff of the NIH awarding component will evaluate requests for a supplement to determine its overall merit. The following general criteria will be used:

Budget and Period of Support

NIH Staff will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

Overall Impact

Applications received under this FOA will be reviewed in a Two-Stage Process.

Stage I: In the first stage of review, NIH staff will evaluate the written application to consider the ability of the proposed supplement to increase the parent award’s overall impact through the proposed team's participation in the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program.  Specific criteria that will be considered will include the following:

  • Has the applicant small business concern assembled the appropriate I-Corps™ team members, including a C-Level Corporate Officer, Industry Expert, and PD/PI?

  • To what extent have the proposed team members indicated a deep commitment to the time-intensive requirements of the I-Corps™ training program and a sincere desire to investigate the commercial landscape surrounding the innovation?

  • To what extent do these team members have the appropriate backgrounds and expertise to utilize the insights gained during the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program to advance the commercial goals of the predicate SBIR/STTR Phase I project?

  • As appropriate for the specific project, to what extent does the (6-page) Research Plan clearly articulate: market opportunity; potential impact of the project/technology on patients; stage of technology development; competitive advantage of the technology and value proposition; skills and experience of the management team; commercial strengths (including the IP portfolio and other proprietary technologies or trade secrets); key strategic partnerships and collaborations; and fundraising potential.

  • To what extent will the company be able to "pivot" and refine its commercialization strategy if the information gained during the customer discovery process reveals commercial opportunities that had not previously been considered or pursued?

Stage II: In the second stage of review, the most responsive and best qualified candidates will be contacted by NIH staff to provide clarification on the information contained in the written application AND to provide responses to additional questions. Typical follow-up questions may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • Introduce the team and provide a brief summary of the team's background.  What are the perceived strengths and weaknesses of the team?

  • How long have the team members known each other?  Are all of the team members co-located?  Who is driving the project?

  • Who is the visionary on the team?  What gets this person excited about the proposed product/technology?

  • What is the Industry Expert's experience with this product/technology space?  Does the Industry Expert have prior experience with start-up companies in this technology space — what happened to those start-ups?

  • Provide an example where there was disagreement between the C-Level Executive and the PD/PI, and explain how the disagreement was resolved.

  • Why does the team believe that the product/technology is ready for translation to the marketplace?  What customer "pain" will the proposed product/technology alleviate?  Who are the first two customers?

  • Has everyone on the team read the I-Corps™ course syllabus, and is everyone aware of the time commitment (expected to be 10-15 hours per week per team member)?

  • If selected, can the team verbally commit to the I-Corps™ session/schedule that the NIH is recruiting for under this FOA?

  • Is the team prepared with the names of at least three customer contacts to visit in the city where the Immersion Course will take place (i.e., DC/Maryland/Virginia)?

  • What does the team envision getting out of the I-Corps™ curriculum?

  • To what extent are the team members willing to "pivot" if the information gained during the customer discovery process reveals commercial opportunities that had not previously been considered or pursued?  
2. Review and Selection Process

Administrative supplement requests will undergo an administrative evaluation by NIH staff, but not a full peer review. Applications submitted for this funding opportunity will be assigned to the awarding component for the parent award and will be administratively evaluated using the criteria shown above.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not Applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. This may be as an NoA for the supplemental activities only; alternatively, it may be as either a revision to the current year NoA or included as part of a future year NoA. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.    

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to the DUNS, SAM Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

Any supplements to Cooperative Agreements will be subject to the same Cooperative Agreement terms and conditions as the parent award.

3. Reporting

Reporting requirements will be specified in the terms and conditions of award as applicable to the supplemental activities. In most non-competing continuation applications, the progress report and budget for the supplement must be included with, but clearly delineated from, the progress report and budget for the parent award. The progress report must include information about the activities supported by the supplement even if support for future years is not requested. Continuation of support for the supplement activities in the remaining years of the competitive segment of the grant will depend upon satisfactory review by the NIH awarding component of progress for both the parent award and the supplement project, the research proposed for the next budget period, and the appropriateness of the proposed budget for the proposed effort. This information is submitted with the  Non-Competing Grant Progress Report, PHS 2590 or RPPR, and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later. All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000. See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html
TTY: 301-451-5939
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone 301-435-0714
TTY 301-451-5936
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Christie Canaria, PhD
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-5720
Email: canariaca@mail.nih.gov

Jennifer Shieh, PhD
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone:  301-443-8785
Email: jennifer.shieh@nih.gov

Stephanie Fertig, MBA
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-1779
Email: fertigs@ninds.nih.gov

Lili Portilla, MPA
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
Telephone: 301-217-2589
Email: portilll@mail.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Not Applicable

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Jackie Boudjeda
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Telephone: 240-276-6312
Fax: 240-276-7913
Email: boudjedaj@mail.nih.gov

Ann Marie Brasile Mejac
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Telephone: (301) 435-0164
Fax: 301-451-5462
Email: brasilea@nhlbi.nih.gov

Tijuanna Decoster
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Telephone: 301-496-9231
Fax: 301-402-4370
Email: decostert@mail.nih.gov

Long Nguyen
National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
Telephone: 301-402-6737
Fax: 301-480-3777
Email: nguyen1@mail.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.

Special Award Conditions:

Online content establishing the process and progress tracking the post-award effort will be hosted by NIH or designee.  Team progress may be tracked using a closed Wiki environment.  Shared resources will only be accessible NIH, the entrepreneurial course instructors, and the peer teams that participate in the I-Corps™ Team Training Pilot Program cohort.

The SBIR Program is mandated by the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-219), reauthorizing legislation (P.L. 99-443) P.L. 102-564, and P.L. 112-81 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011). The basic design of the NIH SBIR Program is in accordance with the Small Business Administration (SBA) SBIR Policy Directive.

The STTR Program is mandated by the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997 (P.L. 105-135), and reauthorizing legislation, P.L. 107-50 and P.L. 112-81 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011). The basic design of the NIH STTR Program is in accordance with the Small Business Administration (SBA) STTR Policy Directive

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