Tech Transfer Central
Technology Transfer Tactics sample issue

Dispelling SBIR/STTR Funding Myths and Misconceptions for University-Based Innovations

Format: On-Demand Video, DVD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: March 18, 2014

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The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs can be critical and significant sources of funding for university innovations and start-ups. But these programs are widely misunderstood in the context of academic research and spinouts based on that research. Numerous misconceptions and errors lead to high rates of rejection in grant applications, and many applications are never even made because the rules and regulations regarding eligibility are misunderstood.

Yet for those who do understand it and handle their applications properly, the program clearly works — nearly $2 billion in funding is awarded each year, and many companies and jobs have been created using critical SBIR/STTR funds. For university researchers, start-up founders and TTO staff, many myths and misconceptions persist regarding how to apply, who can apply, what technologies are eligible, and how funds are awarded. That’s why Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division has recorded this can’t miss program:

Dispelling SBIR/STTR Funding Myths and Misconceptions
for University-Based Innovations

We’ve secured SBIR/STTR funding consultant and former NIH scientific review officer Geoffrey White, PhD, to identify and dispel the common — and some not so common — misunderstandings surrounding these two highly competitive funding programs. He will focus specifically on the NIH, NSF and DoD programs and consult on:

  • Common misconceptions regarding the application criteria for SBIR/STTR funding within:
    • The NIH
    • The NSF
    • The DoD
  • The confusion about the differences between STTR and SBIR funding
  • Requirements for Phase I, II and III funding for each program
    • navigating commercialization benchmarks
  • Clarifying eligibility requirements including:
    • Company size
    • Research institution involvement
    • Ownership and control of company
    • Company control/use of research facility
    • Company’s physical presence (virtual companies not allowed)
    • Principal Investigator role/effort/employment
    • Limits on VC participation
    • Education level of applicants
    • Demographics that have an “edge” over the competition
    • What makes a project “unfundable”
  • Misconceptions regarding application submission:
    • Agreement governing intellectual property
    • Budget
    • Inclusion of preliminary data and experimental detail
    • Market analysis
    • Science-heavy submissions or layman’s terms: which one wins?
  • And much more…

Your Expert Presenter:

Geoffrey WhiteGeoffrey White, PhD, President, Discovery Consulting, LLC. Mr. White’s clients have raised over $90 million dollars in non-dilutive grant funding since 2008, including four perfect scores from the NIH. In preparation for starting Discovery Consulting, he spent one year as a Scientific Review Officer (SRO) at the NIH, where he led Study Sections that reviewed SBIR/STTR and R01 grant applications. For eight years prior to his work as an SRO, he served as an ad hoc and then permanent Study Section member for the review of SBIR/STTR and R01 grant applications. Mr. White has twenty years of experience as a research and development scientist and executive in the biotech industry, having developed techniques and programs that led to over 10 new drug INDs and numerous products. He started a medical treatment software company (CBT4CBT), having obtained the rights from Yale University. CBT4CBT was developed using numerous R01 proposals from the NIH. Mr. White is also on the management team of a cancer research company (Canget BioTekpharma, LLC), which recently received a fast-track SBIR for $2.2 million from the NIH. 

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