DATE: June 16, 2003

SUBJECT: Small Business Administration; Small Business Technology Transfer Program

SOURCE: Federal Register, June 16, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 115, page 35748

AGENCIES: Small Business Administration (SBA)

ACTION: Proposed Policy Directive

SYNOPSIS: SBA is proposing to revise its policy directive on the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program for the first time since 1993 to implement provisions of the Small Business Technology Transfer Program Reauthorization Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-50), to provide guidance to participating federal agencies for the general conduct of the program, and to streamline and enhance the program.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The purpose of the STTR program is to stimulate a partnership of ideas and technologies between innovative small businesses and research institutions through federally-funded research or research and development (R/R&D). By providing awards to small businesses for cooperative R/R&D efforts with research institutions, the STTR program assists the small business and research communities by commercializing innovative technologies.

The STTR program requires all agencies with R/R&D budgets of more than $1 billion to set aside at least 0.3% of their R/R&D budgets (as of October 1, 2003) for businesses with no more than 500 employees. The five agencies currently participating in the STTR program are the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Health and Human Services; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and the National Science Foundation.

The STTR program consists of three phases:

Phase I: An agency solicits proposals or grant applications from small businesses to conduct feasibility-related experimental or theoretical R/R&D related to described agency requirements up to one year long and costing no more than $100,000. The agency may make more than one award if several different approaches have merit.

Phase II: If 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-STTR 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/R&D.

For more on the SBA's similar Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program, see the September 24, 2002, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Small Business Administration; Small Business Innovation Research Program."

DATES: Comments on the proposed policy directive must be received on or before July 16, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Send comments on the proposed policy directive to Maurice Swinton, Assistant Administrator for Technology, Office of Technology, 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, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Technology, 202-205-6450.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: In 1992, Congress established the STTR program and directed SBA to "issue policy directives for the general conduct of the STTR programs within the federal government." SBA published the STTR policy directive almost 10 years ago (August 10, 1993); it has not been updated since. Because of the legislative requirement to "issue policy directives," there is no coverage of the STTR program in SBA's regulations.

The Small Business Technology Transfer Program Reauthorization Act of 2001 extended the STTR program expiration date to September 30, 2009, made it a permanent program, and made several other changes to the STTR program. Therefore, SBA is proposing a revised policy directive that addresses the STTR program changes made by the Reauthorization Act, and makes other changes that simplify and enhance the program.

The proposed revised policy directive would be organized into 11 sections and two appendices:

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. STTR Funding Process
8. Terms of Agreement Under SBIR Awards
9. Responsibilities of STTR Participating Agencies and Departments
10. Annual Report to the SBA
11. Responsibilities of the SBA

Appendix I: Instructions For STTR Program Solicitation Preparation
Appendix II: Tech-Net Data Fields For Public Database

The following STTR program changes required by the Reauthorization Act would be addressed in the revised policy directive:

The proposed policy directive also contains these additional changes:

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

Copyright 2003 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.

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