DATE: May 19, 2005
SUBJECT: Small Business Administration; Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Policy Directive
SOURCE: Federal Register, May 19, 2005, Vol. 70, No. 96, page 28975
AGENCIES: Small Business Administration (SBA)
ACTION: Proposed Amendments to Directive
SYNOPSIS: The SBA is proposing to amend the SBIR Program policy directive to reflect the requirements that Executive Order (EO) 13329, Encouraging Innovation in Manufacturing, imposes on the SBA and the federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For more on the current SBIR program directive, see the September 24, 2002, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Small Business Administration; Small Business Innovation Research Program." Also see the SBA website at http://www.sba.gov/sbir/indexsbir-sttr.html.
For more on EO 13329, see the February 26, 2004, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH “Executive Order 13329, Encouraging Innovation in Manufacturing.”
DATES: Submit comments on the proposed amendments to the SBIR policy directive by June 20, 2005.
ADDRESSES: Respondents may submit comments directly on the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov; by e-mail to:email@example.com; or by mail to Edsel M. Brown, Jr., Assistant Administrator for Technology, Office of Technology, Office of Policy, Planning, and Liaison; Office of Government Contracting and Business Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street, SW, Washington, DC 20416. Cite “RIN 3245-AF21" when making comments on the proposed changes to the proposed changes to the policy directive.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Edsel M. Brown, Jr., Office of Technology, Office of Policy, Planning, and Liaison, Office of Government Contracting and Business Development; 202-205-6450; or by e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: In 1982, Congress enacted the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (Public Law 97-219), which 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 over 20 years ago; the last SBIR policy directive was published September 24, 2002. 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).
The purpose of the SBIR program is to strengthen the role of innovative small businesses in federally-funded 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 ten agencies currently participating in the SBIR program are the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, and Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and the National Science Foundation.
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: 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-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.
On February 24, 2004, President Bush issued EO 13329 to give high priority to manufacturing-related research and development (R&D) within the SBIR and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs (for more on the STTR program, see the June 16, 2003, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Small Business Administration; Small Business Technology Transfer Program").
EO 13329 requires the federal agencies with SBIR or STTR programs to give high priority within such programs to manufacturing-related R&D to advance innovation in manufacturing through small business. Because SBA is responsible for the SBIR and STTR programs, SBA is proposing to make the following amendments to the SBIR policy directive to provide the guidelines and requirements that the participating agencies need to implement the provisions of the EO:
|To the extent permitted by the law, and in a manner consistent with the mission of that agency and the purpose of the SBIR program, each participating agency must give priority in the SBIR program to manufacturing-related research and development, including the following:|
|(1) Unit process level technologies that create or improve manufacturing processes, including:|
|(i) Fundamental improvements in existing manufacturing processes that deliver substantial productivity, quality, or environmental benefits; or|
|(ii) Development of new manufacturing processes, including new materials, coatings, methods, and associated practices.|
|(2) Machine level technologies that create or improve manufacturing equipment, including:|
|(i) Improvements in capital equipment that create increased capability (such as accuracy or repeatability), increased capacity (through productivity improvements or cost reduction), or increased environmental efficiency (safety, energy efficiency, environmental impact); or|
|(ii) New apparatus and equipment for manufacturing, including additive and subtractive manufacturing, deformation and molding, assembly and test, semiconductor fabrication, biologics, biomaterials, vaccines or drug production, and nanotechnology.|
|(3) Systems level technologies for innovation in the manufacturing enterprise, including:|
|(i) Advances in controls, sensors, networks, and other information technologies which improve the quality and productivity of manufacturing cells, lines, systems, and facilities;|
|(ii) Innovation in extended enterprise functions critical to manufacturing, such as quality systems, resource management, supply change integration, and distribution, scheduling and tracking; or|
|(iii) Technologies that enable integrated and collaborative product and process development, including computer-aided and expert systems for design, tolerancing, process and materials selection, life-cycle cost estimation, rapid prototyping, and tooling.|
|(4) Environmental or societal level technologies that improve workforce abilities, productivity, and manufacturing competitiveness, including:|
|(i) Technologies for improved workforce health and safety, such as human factors and ergonomics; or|
|(ii) Technologies that aid and improve workforce manufacturing skill and technical excellence, such as educational systems incorporating improved manufacturing knowledge and instructional methods.|
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953.
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