NIH Offers SBIR Niche Assessment Program to Phase I Awardees

Notice Number: NOT-OD-10-112

Key Dates
Release Date:  July 13, 2010

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (

NIH announces the availability of a Niche Assessment Program for its SBIR Phase I awardees funded in fiscal years (FY) 2010 and 2011. This program can help “jump-start” a company’s commercialization efforts by providing the market insight and data that can be used to strategically position its technology in the marketplace, by assisting companies with their development of commercialization plans for Phase II applications, and by introducing small businesses to potential Phase III partners.

A third party assessment of appropriate market niches for products/services that are being developed by NIH’s SBIR Phase I awardees will be performed by Foresight Science and Technology. Using its Technology Niche Analysis™, Foresight will perform the due diligence on markets appropriate for each SBIR technology and develop an in-depth report for each SBIR awardee that addresses:

The analysis has three steps:

(1) In the first step, Foresight will gather the pertinent information needed from the SBIR awardee to identify feasible applications of the technology. Often times, several non-obvious uses are found and 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 use of the technology 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, e.g., those developing clinical products such as devices, drugs, biologics, and therapeutics, as well as those developing software, educational, and multi-media behavioral science products. The program is also appropriate for those seeking strategic alliances, investors, and/or immediate customers.

One hundred (100) slots are available and will be filled on a “first come, first served” basis. Only NIH FY 2010 and FY 2011 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. Awardees may sign up for either but it is suggested that careful consideration be given to which group in relation to when /if a Phase II application will be submitted. 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


# Slots

Earliest Possible Start Date

Estimated Completion Date of Report



July 21, 2010

Early November 2010



November  8, 2010

Early February 2011

The amount of time a program participant will need to expend is minimal (perhaps only a few hours) and participation is free. Participants 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 to Foresight at:

Mr. Ryan Hill
Foresight Science and Technology
Telephone: 401-273-4844 X10


Specific questions about TNA’s™ may be directed to Mr. Norton Kaplan, Vice President for Consulting Services 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

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