SBIR/STTR funding is very likely to increase substantially. ... ab=summary

Get those applications ready to submit to all agencies now. Previously, the NIH was preferable when possible because the NIH allowed much higher Phase I and II awards than any other SBIR funding agency. The DOE (Energy) for example, limited most of its Phase I awards to only 70K. It is highly likely that all agencies will increase their levels.

Here are some highlights of likely coming changes:

Increases, for FY2009 and thereafter, from: (1) 2.5% to 3.0% of participating federal agencies' extramural research budget the set-aside for SBIR program activities; and (2) 0.3% to 0.6% of such budget the set-aside for STTR program activities.
Increases, for both the SBIR and STTR programs, the individual small business award levels from: (1) $100,000 to $300,000, for participation at a Phase One level; and (2) $750,000 to $2.2 million, for participation at a Phase Two level. Allows participating federal agencies (agencies) to exceed such award levels if such agencies notify, and provide annual reports concerning such increase to, the congressional small business committees.

Includes energy-related and rare disease-related research topics as "special consideration" SBIR research topics.

Adds nanotechnology-related research to the SBIR list of research topics deserving special consideration.

Requires agencies to give a priority to SBIR and STTR award applications submitted by rural companies.

Directs the Administrator to make two-year grants to organizations to: (1) conduct SBIR outreach efforts to increase small business participation; and (2) provide application support and entrepreneurial and business skills support to prospective participants. Provides assistance limits. Requires organizations receiving grants to direct activities towards small business concerns located in underrepresented geographic areas and/or small business concerns owned and controlled by women, small business concerns owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans, and small business concerns owned and controlled by minorities.

A business concern shall be deemed to be independently owned and operated if it is owned in majority part by one or more natural persons or venture capital operating companies, there is no single venture capital operating company that owns 50% or more of the business concern, and there is no single venture capital operating company the employees of which constitute a majority of the board of directors of the business concern; and (4) to be eligible to receive an award under the SBIR or STTR program, a small business concern may not have an ownership interest by more than one venture capital operating company controlled by a business with more than 500 employees, and that venture capital operating company may not own more than 10% of that small business concern.

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