DATE: May 18, 2001

SUBJECT: Small Business Administration; Small Business Innovation Research Program

SOURCE: Federal Register, May 18, 2001, Vol. 66, No. 97, page 27721

AGENCIES: Small Business Administration (SBA)

ACTION: Proposed Policy Directive

SYNOPSIS: SBA is proposing to revise its policy directive on the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for the first time in 8 years to implement provisions of the Small Business Innovation Research Program Reauthorization Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-554).

EDITOR'S NOTE: The SBIR program is to strengthen the role of innovative small businesses in federally-funded research and development (R&D). The program applies to all agencies with R&D budgets of more than $100 million to set aside at least 2.5% of their R&D budgets for businesses with no more than 500 employees.

The SBIR program consists of three phases:

Phase I: An agency solicits proposals from small businesses that describe an experimental or theoretical research effort up to six months long and costing no more than $100,000. The agency may award more than one contract if several different approaches have merit.

Phase II: It the results of Phase I are promising, the agency may provide further funding to allow the small business to expand and develop the research. The effort may be up to two years and cost no more than $750,000. However, the agency is under no obligation to fund a Phase II effort.

Phase III: The agency may enter into a non-SBIR funded agreement with the small business or contract with the small business for additional work. Phase III small businesses are encouraged to obtain non-federal funds for commercial applications of the R&D.

DATES: Comments on the proposed policy directive should be received on or before June 18, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Maurice Swinton, Assistant Administrator for Technology, Office of Technology, Office of Policy, Planning, and Liaison, Office of Government Contracting/Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street, SW, Washington, DC 20416, or by e-mail to technology@sba.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Maurice Swinton at 202-205-6450, or by e-mail to technology@sba.gov.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: In 1982, Congress established the SBIR program and directed SBA to "issue policy directives for the general conduct of the SBIR programs within the federal government." SBA published the first SBIR policy directive 19 years ago; the last SBIR policy directive was published eight years ago. Because of the legislative requirement to "issue policy directives," there is no coverage of the SBIR program in SBA's regulations or in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) (although the memorandum forwarding the proposed policy directive to the various agencies' SBIR programs directors states that "the Federal Acquisition Regulations (sic) may need to be modified to conform to the requirements of the Reauthorization Act and a final policy directive").

The SBIR Program Reauthorization Act of 2000 extended the SBIR program expiration date from September 30, 2000, to September 30, 2008. In addition, it made several other changes to the SBIR program and directed SBA to revise its SBIR program policy directive within 120 days to reflect those changes. This proposed SBIR program policy directive would comply with that Congressional direction.

The proposed policy directive is organized into 12 sections:

1. Purpose
2. Summary of Legislative Provisions
3. Definitions
4. Competitively Phased Structure of the Program
5. Program Solicitation Process
6. Eligibility and Application (Proposal) Requirements
7. SBIR Funding Process
8. Terms of Agreement Under SBIR Awards
9. Responsibilities of SBIR Participating Agencies and Departments
10. Annual Report to the Small Business Administration (SBA)
11. Responsibilities of the SBA
12. Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program and Rural Outreach Program
Appendix I: Instructions For SBIR Program Solicitation Preparation
Appendix II: Tech-Net Data Fields For Public Database

The following are some of the more significant changes that would be made to the policy directive:

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.

Copyright 2001 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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