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Effective SBIR/STTR Proposal Responses How to Beat the Odds February 20, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Effective SBIR/STTR Proposal Responses How to Beat the Odds February 20, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Effective SBIR/STTR Proposal Responses How to Beat the Odds February 20, 2013

2 2 creative technologies, innovative solutions  Typical win rate for a Phase I is 10%  Good SBIR companies can perform at 30-70%  SBIR/STTR provides interesting work, new customer contacts and nice revenue  Phase III provides tremendous opportunities for Sole Source contracts  SBIR/STTR is getting more competitive, don’t waste precious resources by submitting a poor proposal Why worry about winning SBIR? Huntsville/North Alabama should be more competitive with California, Boston, New York, Texas and other SBIR centers of excellence

3 3 creative technologies, innovative solutions  Best Approach: Help to create a topic!  Use SBIR as a path to solve a customer problem  Next Best: Propose on topics where you know the TPOC  Past or current relationships are a huge differentiator  Must: Talk to the TPOC/Alternate  Understand the problem they are trying to solve  Understand the program they are targeting the technology for  Try to determine likely commercialization or proposal partners  Ask how many awards they are likely to make  Determine what other approaches they have tried  Provide an overview of your approach and see if they “bite” How to Improve Your Odds Familiarization is key to a successful proposal, technology itself rarely wins the day.

4 4 creative technologies, innovative solutions  Solve their problem (not a problem, or your problem)  Never educate them on their problem, or tell them they are off-base  Be innovative but also practical  The proposal is a selling document, not a scientific paper  Demonstrate a clear understanding of the problem  Provide a clear, concise and compelling central idea/concept as your approach to solving the problem  Show benefits and demonstrate ability (proof) So You’ve Decided to Write Guide the reviewer to a clear, believable solution

5 5 creative technologies, innovative solutions  All Topics below must be covered in this order  Identification and Significance of the Problem or Opportunity  Phase I Technical Objectives  Phase I Work Plan With Task Schedule (Separate Schedules for Base and Option, if applicable)  Related Work  Relationship with Future Research or Research and Development  Commercialization Strategy  Key Personnel  Facilities/Equipment  Subcontracts/Consultants  Prior/Current, or Pending Support of Similar Proposals or Awards  Additionally, deciBel Research requires the following: Deliverables – Include Final Report as required in solicitation – Monthly progress reports – Other deliverables as determined by solution Technical Proposal Requirements

6 6 creative technologies, innovative solutions  USE A TEMPLATE (CORRECTLY)  Create an outline or storyboard for your concept  Outline serves as your guide for telling the reviewer your story  Create graphics/figures/tables (at least conceptually) before writing  Have a figure or table on every page (at least every other)  Use bulleted lists and call out boxes liberally  Use bold or other consistent formatting to draw attention to key words/statements  Create a schedule for your work as part of the outline  Clearly include any subcontractor efforts and ensure “flow” Well Don’t Just Start Writing Writing without a plan is a recipe for failure

7 7 creative technologies, innovative solutions  Soundness, technical merit, and innovation of the proposed approach and its incremental progress toward topic or subtopic solution  The qualifications of the proposed principal/key investigators, supporting staff and consultants; Qualifications include not only the ability to perform the research and development, but also the ability to commercialize the results  Potential for commercial (Government or private sector) application and the benefits expected to accrue from this commercialization Evaluation Criteria Pay attention to how your proposal will be evaluated

8 8 creative technologies, innovative solutions  Team to increase your chance of winning  Technical capability  Relationship  Commercialization Partner  Determine potential team members early  Get NDA and SOW done ASAP  Look at possibility of getting a letter of support vs. subcontract in Phase I, especially for large companies  Understand restrictions/requirements on work share  Be clear on expectations  If including subs, most effort should be done before writing Teaming Teaming should increase your chance of winning.

9 9 creative technologies, innovative solutions  Proposals are auditable by DCAA prior to award  Most awards will be Firm Fixed Price  Writer needs to provide:  Personnel required for effort  Number of hours (or LOE, % work) by person  Any special material or equipment costs with quotes as back up  Travel requirements (number of trips, number of people, number of days, location)  Subcontract POC (technical & contracts)  Subcontract Statement of Work (description, schedule, deliverables)  Dollar ceiling for subcontractor (if less than previous table) Requirements for Cost Proposal Must plan well, ODC and subs are critical drivers

10 10 creative technologies, innovative solutions  Key Personnel are critical to success  Best to have a PhD as the PI  If not, they better have great credentials  Tailor the resume/CV to the topic!  Highlight published works (books, papers, presentations, etc.) and similar research initiatives Key Personnel Demonstrate that the key personnel are experienced and capable

11 11 creative technologies, innovative solutions  Showing clear path is critical  Use subs or letters of support to demonstrate path  Commercialization does not mean actual “commercial” application  DoD or other Government/Civil agency is valid  If possible, directly target prime integrator for the program that created the requirement  “Productization” of the idea is important  Pay attention to “ilities”  Best to indicate multiple possibilities/markets Commercialization Commercialization can be difficult to write, but is a major evaluation criteria

12 12 creative technologies, innovative solutions  SBIR/STTR is a great program that we as a community need to be more successfully exploiting  Encourage you to write a good proposal to an appropriate topic  Involve help early and often  Encourage customers to use SBIR/STTR to solve problems  Pay attention to the problem and don’t forget about key personnel and commercialization Summary SBIR/STTR provides a perfect mechanism to do R&D and generate $


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