A severely underutilized SBIR funding opportunity in Wisconsin is the program available from the Department of Defense (DoD). Nearly half of all the SBIR and STTR funds available from the Federal government are distributed by the DoD, and we at the CTC would like to increase awareness and applications from Wisconsin. In support of this, the CTC is making a concerted effort to promote DoD SBIR opportunities, not only to traditional start-up companies, but also established small business concerns that have technologies and skill that the DoD could be interested in obtaining.
One of the key differences with DoD compared to most other agencies, like the NIH or NSF, is that DoD SBIR funds are distributed as contracts, not grants. Functionally, this means that the DoD wants to be your customer and will fund the research to develop the technology so that an agency within the DoD can contract to purchase your eventual product. Therefore, its key that applicants be aware of the topics/products the DoD wants to fund and eventually purchase and write a proposal with the DoD in mind as the customer. Its important to remember, that if you are funded with a DoD project and take it to commercialization, you would be a sole source provider of the product to the DoD; you would not be competing with other companies for the DoD business.
The CTC provides considerable resources and relies on partner organizations to help Wisconsin companies prepare DoD proposals and obtaining the contracts. We provide microgrants that will reimburse you for the cost of hiring a service provider, up to $4500. A list of our service providers who can prepare SBIR’s are found on our website. Also we highly encourage our clients to reach out to the Wisconsin Procurement Institute (WPI), the state’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC).. The WPI is highly skilled in providing training and advice on negotiating the process of selling goods and services to all levels of government including the DoD.
Interested in learning more? Join us for a full day of DOD Training on June 18th. This virtual day of learning is free and features DOD Expert, Jerry Hollister from BBCetc. Register here!