NCATS SBIR/STTR funding for BMB entrepreneurs
Advancing laboratory discoveries through the translational science process is critical to developing innovations that can improve public health, but too often there are barriers, such as insufficient funding and related support, that make these innovations difficult to move forward. Through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences’ (NCATS) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programsbiochemist and molecular biologist entrepreneurs may find what they need to advance their research toward commercialization.
As part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NCATS participates in the annual SBIR/STTR Omnibus Solicitation, and offers a number of other funding opportunities that may be of interest and benefit to the Association for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology community. SBIR and STTR programs are one of the largest sources of American early-stage technology financing. There are two key differences: SBIR awards require that the project’s principal investigator be employed primarily (more than half time) by the small business during the award period unless NIH grants a waiver of this requirement. Employment criteria for the project’s principal investigator is not a factor for STTR funding.
Benefits of SBIR/STTR program support include:
- Funding is stable, predictable and not a loan
- Capital is non-dilutive
- Small businesses retain intellectual property rights
- NIH’s rigorous peer-review provides recognition, validation and visibility to early-stage companies
- Prestige associated with the award can help attract more funding or support (e.g., venture capital, strategic partner)
Potential applicants can review NCATS’ SBIR and STTR program eligibility requirements to help determine if their specific biochemistry or molecular biology-focused project may qualify for funding. In addition, they can access NCATS’ SBIR and STTR program tips and resources such as:
- Review each funding opportunity and eligibility requirement carefully
- Submit your application early (they can take 2-3 months to complete)
- Use NIH ASSIST to streamline the application process
The next application deadlines are Sept. 5, 2017, and Jan. 5, 2018, at 5 p.m. local time.
Contact NCATS’ SBIR/STTR program officers to discuss a specific project and next steps, and connect with NCATS to learn about the latest funding opportunities and other initiatives to improve health through smarter science.