NIH Offers SBIR Niche Assessment Program to Phase I Awardees

Notice Number: NOT-OD-09-122

Key Dates
Release Date:  July 17, 2009

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

NIH announces the availability of a Niche Assessment Program for its SBIR Phase I awardees in fiscal years (FY) 2009 and FY 2010. NIH has contracted with Foresight Science and Technology to perform Technology Niche Analyses (TNA™) for 50 NIH SBIR Phase I awardees. For each eligible SBIR Phase I project, the TNA™ will assess potential uses of the technology and result in a report that includes:

1) the needs and concerns of end-users that drive the competitive opening in the market
2) competing technologies and products
3) the competitive advantage of the technology
4) who the key competitors are likely to be
5) the likely price customers will pay
6) what will drive the market
7) the key standards, regulations, and certifications influencing buyer acceptance
8) the market size and what share should be sought
9) the potential customer, licensee, investor, or other commercialization partner
10) a commercialization strategy that includes tasking and a schedule for implementation

The TNA™ process has three steps:

(1) In the first step of the analysis, Foresight will gather the pertinent information needed from the SBIR awardee to identify feasible applications of the technology. Often times, several non-obvious users are found. Such secondary applications may provide a path to market that is faster than the primary biomedical use.

(2) In the second step, Foresight will analyze the selected application to determine the end-user needs, current and emerging competing technologies, market dynamics, socio-economic trends and market drivers, and to quantify the market size and participant's possible share. This second step determines the technology's current competitive advantages and how to improve competitiveness.

(3) In the third step, Foresight will recommend a market entry strategy. This strategy includes how to market the technology to end-users, how to obtain Phase III partners, and also projects revenues for the technology. Likely lead customers, testing centers, suppliers, manufacturers, and/or other relevant organizations interested in participating in the downstream research as beta testers or concurrent engineering advisors will be identified.

To validate the analyses and recommendations, Foresight will identify and qualify companies or funding agencies that might be interested in becoming commercialization partners. Follow-up communication with these potential partners will be the responsibility of the small business.

The Niche Assessment Program is appropriate for all types of technologies, i.e., those developing clinical products such as devices, drugs, biologics, and therapeutics, as well as software, educational, and multi-media behavioral science products. The program is also appropriate for those seeking strategic alliances, investors, and/or immediate customers.

Fifty (50) slots are available and will be filled on a “first come, first served” basis. Only NIH FY 09 and FY 10 SBIR Phase I awardees (not STTR) are eligible to participate. For those with multiple awards, only one project per company will be accepted for Group A (see below), but others will be considered if space is available in Group B. The groups will consist of 25 slots each. You may sign up at any time for either but it is suggested that you carefully consider your group selection in relation to when you plan to submit your Phase II application as the Technology Niche Analysis™ report may be helpful in the preparation of the commercialization plan that is required in an SBIR Phase II application.

TNA Group

Earliest Possible Start Date

Estimated Completion Date of Report


July 27, 2009

Early November 2009


November 2, 2009

Early February 2010

The amount of time you will need to expend is minimal (perhaps only a few hours) and participation is free to you. You will be expected to provide follow-up information concerning the usefulness of the report as it will be instrumental in determining the effectiveness of the program.

To participate in the program, complete the registration form available at:

and email or fax to Foresight at:

Ms. Amy Spasiman
Foresight Science and Technology
Telephone: 401-273-4844 X15
Fax: 401-273-4744


Specific questions about TNA’s™ may be directed to Mr. Norton Kaplan, Vice President of Assessments at Foresight, 401-273-4844, ext. 19, and general questions about the program to:

Ms. Kay Etzler
Office of Extramural Programs
National Institutes of Health
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 360
Bethesda , MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 435-2713
FAX: (301) 480-0146

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS) - Government Made Easy

Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.