Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

Resources for Government:

SBIR Transition Guidance

The SBIR program supports the funding stream through Phase II. However, at the completion of this phase, the small business must identify non-SBIR funding for technology maturity and validation efforts. At this transition point, often called the "Valley of Death," failure to incorporate SBIR into overall program planning can make it difficult to identify funding in a manner that supports timely insertion of the SBIR technology.

SBIR in the Technology Development Strategy

Since the Technology Development Strategy (TDS) lays out the acquisition program plan for managing research and development (R&D) for the life of the program, it is extremely important to address SBIR in this document. The TDS presentation of overall R&D cost, schedule and performance goals should include planning for the maturation of SBIR technologies. SBIR program participants should be denoted as sources of technologies and development should be aligned with the program schedule, including execution of any required testing.

It is also imperative to map out appropriate funding for SBIR technologies in the TDS to support transition of the technologies in step with acquisition program schedules and requirements. Sufficient resources should be programmed to continue funding of the SBIR from the conclusion of Phase II to the desired maturity level.

Applying SBIR in a Technology Transition Agreement

The SBIR technology development plan outlined in the TDS can be applied to prepare a Technology Transition Agreement (TTA) during Phase II. This is a required document at many commands. A TTA documents the commitment and responsibilities of the acquisition program sponsor, command SBIR manager, and SBIR firm in developing, delivering and integrating a technology into an acquisition program.

The TTA establishes exit criteria for program acceptance and technology insertion. The agreement should include the intended customer or end-user of a SBIR technology, funding sources for development beyond Phase II, and an integration and test strategy. Proper development and execution of a TTA will significantly enhance the likelihood that a SBIR project will transition in a manner beneficial to the acquisition program.

Other Tools

Other tools available to enable transition success are transition agents or relationship managers. An individual in this position provides expertise in transition planning and management, and serves as a liaison between the acquisition, S&T, and small business communities. As a resource, transition agents have the benefit of sole focus on the task of walking technologies through program development to the end goal: transition to the Warfighter. At this time, the Army, Navy and Air Force all have transition agents or relationships managers operating in some capacity.