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

Process Acceleration:

How to Qualify for Fast Track

Toward the end of a small company's phase I SBIR (or STTR) project, the company and the investor submit a Fast Track application through the DoD Submission Website at www.dodsbir.net/submission. For most Components, the application must be submitted within 150 days after the effective date of the SBIR (or STTR) phase I contract, except: (1) MDA which requires it within 120 days of phase I effective date; (2) DARPA which requires it no later than the last day of the 6th month of the phase I effort; and (3) CBD which requires it within 120 days of phase I effective date or by the CBD Phase II submission date whichever date is earlier. The Army will consider STTR Fast Track applications and proposals at any time during the year, but it is strongly recommended that they be submitted within seven months of Phase I contract award in order to maximize the likelihood of funds availability. The company is encouraged to discuss the application with its Phase I technical monitor; however, it need not wait for an invitation from the technical monitor to submit either a Fast Track application or a Fast Track Phase II proposal. The small business should contact its Phase I technical monitor for further instructions and guidance.

A Fast Track Application Package consists of:

  1. A completed Fast Track application form. The company and investor must:
    • State that the outside investor will match both interim and Phase II SBIR funding, in cash, contingent on the company's selection for Phase II award. The matching rates needed to qualify for Fast Track are as follows:
      • For companies that have never received a Phase II SBIR award from DoD or any other federal agency, the minimum matching rate is 25 cents for every SBIR dollar. (For example, if such a company receives interim and Phase II SBIR funding that totals $750,000, it must obtain matching funds from the investor of $187,500.)
      • For all other companies, the minimum matching rate is 1 dollar for every SBIR dollar. (For example, if such a company receives interim and Phase II SBIR funding that totals $750,000, it must obtain matching funds from the investor of $750,000.)
    • Certify that the outside funding proposed in the application qualifies as a "Fast Track investment," and the investor qualifies as an "outside investor," as defined in DoD Fast Track Guidance.
  2. A letter from the outside investor to the company, submitted electronically on the DoD Submission Website either at the end of the Interim Statement of Work file OR by FAX to the number on the Fast Track submission page. The letter should contain:
    • A commitment to match both interim and Phase II SBIR funding, in cash, contingent on the company's selection for Phase II award.
    • A brief statement (less than one page) describing that portion of the effort that the investor will fund. The investor's funds may pay for additional research and development on the company's SBIR project or, alternatively, they may pay for other activities not included in the Phase II contract's statement of work, provided these activities further the development and/or commercialization of the technology (e.g., marketing).
    • A brief statement (less than one page) describing (i) the investor's experience in evaluating companies' ability to successfully commercialize technology; and (ii) the investor's assessment of the market for this particular SBIR technology, and of the ability of the company to bring this technology to market.
  3. A concise statement of work for the interim SBIR effort (less than four pages) and detailed cost proposal (less than one page), submitted electronically on the DoD Submission Website as a PDF file (other acceptable formats include MS Word, Word Perfect, RTF and Text). The cost proposal may be submitted using the on-line cost proposal form OR as part of the Interim Statement of Work file. If the company has already negotiated an interim effort (e.g., an "option") of $30,000 to $50,000 with DoD as part of its Phase I contract, it need only cite that section of its contract, and need not submit an additional statement of work and cost proposal. Note: The Air Force does not provide interim funding for Fast Track applications. The Fast Track Interim amount is not to exceed $30,000 for MDA, $40,000 for DARPA, and $50,000 for Army.

Also, in order to qualify for the Fast Track, the company:

  1. Must submit its Phase II proposal within 180 days after the effective date of its Phase I contract, except (1) CBD which requires it by their annual Phase II proposal deadline; (2) OSD which requires it no later than 210 days after phase I effective date; and (3) DARPA which requires it before the last day of the 7th month of the phase I effort. The Army will consider STTR Fast Track applications and proposals at any time during the year, but it is strongly recommended that they be submitted within seven months of Phase I contract award in order to maximize the likelihood of funds availability.
  2. Must submit its Phase I final report by the deadline specified in its Phase I contract, but not later than 210 days after the effective date of the contract (except for the Air Force, where it is not later than 270 days).
  3. Must certify, within 45 days after being notified that it has been selected for Phase II award, that the entire amount of the matching funds from the outside investor has been transferred to the company.
    • For private sector investors, certification consists of a letter, signed by both the company and its outside investor, stating that "$______ in cash has been transferred to our company from our outside investor in accord with the SBIR Fast Track procedures." The letter must be sent to the DoD contracting office along with a copy of the company's bank statement showing the funds have been deposited. Before signing the certification letter, the company and investor should read the cautionary note at Section 3.8.
    • For government investors, the non-SBIR/non-STTR DoD program must provide a line of accounting within the 45 days that can be accessed immediately.

IMPORTANT: If the DoD contracting office does not receive, within the 45 days, this certification showing the transfer of funds, the company will be ineligible to compete for a Phase II award not only under the Fast Track but also under the regular Phase II competition, unless a specific written exception is granted by the Component's SBIR program manager.

Failure to meet these conditions in their entirety and within the time frames indicated will generally disqualify a company from participation in the SBIR Fast Track. Deviations from these conditions must be approved in writing by the contracting office.

Fast Track Phase II proposals

For projects that qualify for Fast Track, DoD will evaluate the Phase II proposals under a separate, expedited process in accordance with the Phase II evaluation criteria in Section 4.3 of the solicitation, and may select these proposals for Phase II award provided:

  1. they meet or exceed criteria (a) and (b); and
  2. the project has substantially met its Phase I technical goals and assuming budgetary and other programmatic factors are met Fast Track proposals, having attracted matching cash from an outside investor, presumptively meet criterion (c). Selection and award of a Fast Track proposal is not mandated and DoD retains the discretion not to select or fund any Fast Track proposal.

The DoD Component will notify each Fast Track company, generally within 10 weeks after the completion of phase I, whether it has been selected for phase II award. Once notified, the company and investor must certify, within 45 days, that the entire amount of the matching funds from the outside investor has been transferred to the company.

Additional Reporting Requirement. In the company's final Phase II progress report, it must include a brief accounting (in the company's own format) of how the investor's funds were expended to support the project.

Complete the on-line Fast Track Application package at https://sbir.defensebusiness.org/External Link.