Program Description National Institutes of
Health SBIR Manufacturing Assistance Program
In Partnership With National Institutes of Standards and
Technology Manufacturing Extension Program (MEP)
Managed by Dawnbreaker, Inc.
One of the goals of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is to increase private sector commercialization of innovations developed through Federal research and development. However, bringing a product to the marketplace can be a difficult and daunting task. For the past several years, the NIH has provided Technical Assistance Programs that target specific areas to assist our SBIR awardees with their commercialization efforts. The Manufacturing Assistance Program is a program within the NIH Technical Assistance Programs that is aimed at helping small companies identify, address, and develop a strategy to overcome some of the manufacturing issues related to the commercialization of SBIR-developed products.
Upon completion of the program, it is anticipated that participating companies will be able to make better manufacturing and operational decisions when converting their research into products by decreasing development costs and cycle time to market and/or minimizing anticipated operational expenses and increasing product quality.
The NIH is partnering with the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program (http://www.mep.nist.gov). The MEP’s nationwide network of non-profit centers will provide technical support to MAP participants as they move to a developmental stage that requires decisions in manufacturing transition strategies.
NIH has contracted with Dawnbreaker®, a business consulting firm in Rochester, NY, to manage the program and coordinate the efforts with the MEP centers.
The technical support that MEP centers offer is quite broad in scope and has no real boundaries other than the manufacturing issues addressed must be related to an NIH SBIR-developed product. This could include, but is not limited to:
The program is free to participants; however it will require some dedication and time on the company’s part. It is estimated that over a 2-3 month period between March and September 2008, approximately 100 person-hours of the company’s time will be needed for this project. Of course the scope of the specific project will determine whether more time is needed. The size of the project is limited to available resources and will be scoped out with the assistance of the MEP Center representative.
Outcomes and participants’ next steps will vary depending on each participant’s needs; however each will receive a written report prepared by the MEP Centers which details the issues addressed, the suggested recommendations, any actions taken during the program, and suggestions for next steps.
Who MAY participate:
Who SHOULD participate:
The first 30 applications received from a diverse geographical region will be visited by an MEP field staff member in their state. (Note: No more than 3 will be selected from a region served by the same MEP Center.) During these visits, the companies’ manufacturing needs will be assessed and a determination will be made if an MEP Center can help. The number of hours a Center may work with any one company during the program is limited, so their assessments will include how effective they can be with the time and resources available. Should an MEP Center not have the resource expertise available in-house, the Center will seek subcontractors to meet the participant’s needs. The MEP Centers will recommend to NIH those most appropriate to participate.
NIH will select 25 companies to participate based on the following:
Notification will be approximately one week following completion of the MEP site visit.
Each participant is required to provide two types of feedback.