Department of Energy SBIR/STTR program Phase 1 Release 2 Updates

There are a number of changes occurring and, in my opinion, I think these will strengthen DOE’s overall SBIR/STTR program.  Here is a summary of recent trends and changes:

  • Phase 0 Application Assistance Program
    • Previously Delaware was blocked from receiving Phase 0 training.
    • New contract awarded this summer to Dawnbreaker:
    • Expanded Eligibility: Provides services to all first-time applicants with an emphasis on under- represented groups: (1) women-owned small businesses, (2) socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses, and (3) small businesses from under-represented Dawnbreaker indicated they need to balance the cohorts between the various emphasized groups and the majority.  Any first-time applicant is eligible for the training but may or may not be selected.
  • New Maximum Award Amounts were implemented beginning with FY 2019 Phase I Release 2

o  Phase I: $200,000 (previously $150,000 or $225,000)

o  Phase II: $1,100,000 or $1,600,000 (previously $1,000,000 or $1,500,000)

  • Phase I Success Rates have risen above 25%
  • Revised Commercialization Assistance
    • New Amounts
      • Phase I: $6,500 (previously $5,000)
      • Phase II: $50,000 (previously $10,000)
    • Expanded Coverage: now includes patent-related expenses
    • All FY 2019 Funding Opportunity Announcements were modified to allow applicants to utilize their own vendor(s)
    • Modified DOE’s commercialization assistance program (CAP) to increase service offerings consistent with the statute.
    • A small company may propose to use another service provider by negotiating a subcontract. The subcontract is pass through funding and is not part of the award budget; therefore, no indirect costs or fee on top of the additional $50,000.  This option is still in flux and I have seen everything from hiring a part time business development executive or consultant to using one of the other big providers.  We will need to wait for the solicitation to be posted to see how it will be managed.
  • New SBIR/STTR Data Protection Period
    • All awards issued after May 2019 will have the new fixed 20 year SBIR/STTR data protection period per the updated SBIR/STTR Policy Directive
  • New DOE SBIR/STTR Website
  • New Third Phase II Award
    • Authorized by Congress through FY 2022 (pilot program)
    • DOE implemented this in FY 2019 (Phase II Release 2)
    • Eligibility:
      • Must have received an SBIR Phase II and an SBIR Phase IIA or Phase IIB from DOE
      • Must have 1:1 matching funds from an eligible third party investor and as per usual a company may NOT self-invest

Director: Manny Oliver:, (301) 903-0309

Outreach Program Manager: Chris O’Gwin,, (301) 903-5713

SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator: Carl Hebron,, (301) 903-1414

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