Small Business Resources

Small businesses considering SBIR and STTR funding may find the following information and resources helpful.

Resources from NCATS

Webinars

Leverage SBIR STTR Funding and Other Resources to Create a Diverse Workforce in Science and Technology

Date: June 23, 2022

Description: Learn about the funding opportunities and resources available to small business entrepreneurs in the field of translational sciences in the Southwest IDeA States Region. Speakers from NCATS and NHLBI talk about the SBIR and STTR funding program structure, eligibility, resources, and best practices and answer attendee questions. They are joined by leaders of the XLerater Network and XLerateHealth program, which offer multiple programs to help prepare and support researchers looking to commercialize their innovations, including programs specially designed for those coming from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Women-Owned businesses.

Featured Speakers:
Meena U. Rajagopal, Ph.D., Program Officer, Office of Strategic Alliances, NCATS, NIH
Stephanie Davis, Ph.D., Small Business Program Coordinator, NHLBI, NIH
Eugene Krentsel, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and Vice President – Strategic Partnerships and Alliances, XLerateHealth
Almesha L. Campbell, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President for Research and Economic Development, Jackson State University

Total Length of Video: 1:18:58

Peer Review for Small Business Funding: An Overview of the Process

Date: Feb. 24, 2022

Description: The rigorous peer review process for small business funding is a critical component of the selection process, which many awardees later leverage to attract additional funders and collaborators. Because it evaluates both the science and the business proposal, it differs from traditional peer reviews, from who sits on the panel to what they look for in an application. In this webinar, Allen Richon, Ph.D., a Scientific Review Officer in the NIH Center for Scientific Review explains the review process, shares what reviewers look for in an SBIR/STTR application, and answers applicant questions.

Featured Speakers:
Allen Richon, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer and SBIR/STTR Review Coordinator, NIH Center for Scientific Review
Meena U. Rajagopal, Ph.D., Program Officer, Office of Strategic Alliances at NCATS

Total Length of Video: 1:16:39

A Decade of Innovation: How NCATS Is Impacting Translational Science through Small Business Growth

Date: Dec. 8, 2021

Description: For ten years, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has worked with researchers, clinicians, entrepreneurs, patients and other stakeholder to design new approaches and technologies that ultimately will deliver more treatments to more people more quickly.

To mark this milestone, NCATS invited leaders from three companies who used the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program funding and resources to develop transformative innovations in translational science. Hear about their innovations, their inspirations, and the lessons they have learned while building their businesses, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, Intabio and GoDX. The stories shared here by researchers and others are about what they do, what inspires their work and why they find translational science exciting.

Featured Speakers:
Lili M. Portilla, M.P.A., Director, Office of Strategic Alliances at NCATS
Chris Gibson, Ph.D., Co-Founder and CEO, Recursion Pharmaceuticals
Lena Wu, Ph.D., Co-Founder and Former CEO and President, Intabio, Inc.
Chang Hee Kim, Ph.D., CEO, GoDx, Inc.

Total Length of Video: 1:08:52

Note: If you would like an MP4 file of the webinar, please email your request to NCATS‑SBIRSTTR@mail.nih.gov.

NCATS SBIR/STTR Presents: Essential Intellectual Property Advice for Small Business Commercialization Featuring USPTO Patent Application & Examination Processes

Date: Jan. 29, 2020
Co-Host: United States Patent and Trademark Office
Description: NCATS welcomes Ram Shukla, Ph.D., from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to present on the processes for protecting a small business’ intellectual property, the role the USPTO plays in the patenting process, and the patent and trademarking resources available to the small business community. The program includes a brief overview of the NCATS SBIR and STTR program and research interests, as well.
Q&A (begins at 1:00:05): Shukla answers audience questions on what can and cannot be patented; the differences between patents, trademarks and trade secrets; the difference between “obvious” and “non-obvious” in patent law; reviving “abandoned” patent applications; and working with patent examiners.
Total Length of Video: 1:17:09

Note: An audio described version of the webinar will be made available upon request.

NCATS Small Business Funding: Early-Stage Support to Commercialize Your Translational Science Innovation

Date: Jan. 23, 2020
Co-Host: Georgia Bio
Description: Learn about the structure and application process for the NCATS SBIR and STTR funding program, as well as tips for developing a successful application, specific small business research interests, examples of grantee successes, and helpful resources to further support commercialization efforts.
Q&A (begins at 48:46): Lili Portilla, M.P.A., director of the NCATS Office of Strategic Alliances, answers questions on eligibility requirements, including acceptable business structures and partnerships; determining the right funding mechanism to apply through; resources such as the I-Corps™ at NIH program, BrIDGs and TRND; and specific research interests.
Total Length of Video: 1:05:33

Note: An audio described version of the webinar will be made available upon request.

NCATS Small Business Support for Biotech Entrepreneurs and Researchers (with robust Q&A)

Date: Jan. 30, 2018
Co-Hosts: North Carolina Biosciences Organization and Virginia Bio
Description: Information about SBIR and STTR funding and NCATS resources for researchers and entrepreneurs focused on advancing translational research and technologies.
Q&A (begins at 32:06): Lili Portilla, M.P.A., director of the NCATS Office of Strategic Alliances, answers questions related to the difference between funding phases, the application process and tips for success, guidelines for an eligible team, intellectual property (IP) rights and more.

NCATS SBIR & STTR Support for Biotech Entrepreneurs and Researchers

Date: Nov. 14, 2017
Co-Hosts: Life Science Washington, New Mexico Biotechnology & Biomedical Association, Oregon Bioscience Association and Montana BioScience Alliance
Description: Information about funding and resources for researchers and entrepreneurs focused on advancing translational research and technologies that will improve disease prevention, detection and treatment. The webinar covers an overview of the program, tips for successful application and other NCATS small business resources.
Q&A (begins at 41:06): Focused areas of discussion include the following: “How do I know if my proposal is a good fit for NCATS? What funding announcement should I apply under? Can I switch from an SBIR mechanism to an STTR mechanism? How many grants may I submit in a grant cycle?”

Support for Women Entrepreneurs and Researchers in Biotech

Date: July 14, 2016
Co-Hosts: NCI, NINDS and the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO)
Description: Information about funding opportunities and resources to support biotechnology and health care small businesses, including those owned by women and individuals from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. At 1:40, BIO discusses challenges for women in the biotechnology field.
Q&A (begins at 51:25): Focused areas of discussion include the following: “What constitutes a Phase I feasibility study? What is the composition of SBIR review groups? Do I need to file a patent prior to grant submission?”

Note: Webinar audio begins at 0:13.

NCATS Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs in Biotech and Healthcare Webinar

Date: Mar. 2, 2016
Co-Hosts: NHLBI, NCI and the Association for Women in Science (AWIS)
Description: Information about programs and funding opportunities available to support women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and women in research and technology transfer organizations. Statistics on women-owned biomedical businesses/entrepreneurs were provided by AWIS Director of Research and Analysis Heather Metcalf, Ph.D. Success rates for WOSB applying for NIH SBIR and STTR grants are discussed.
Q&A (begins at 50:48): The section provides application tips as well as a discussion on virtual companies applying for NIH SBIR and STTR grants and foreign component in grants.

Other NCATS Resources

Application Resources from NIH

Sample SBIR/STTR Applications from NIH

If you are new to writing grant applications, sometimes seeing how someone else has presented their idea can help as you are developing your own application. With the gracious permission of successful investigators, some institutes have provided samples of funded applications, summary statements, sharing plans, leadership plans, and more.

When referencing these resources, it is important to remember:

  • These applications were developed using the application forms and instructions that were in effect at the time of their submission. Forms and instructions change regularly. Read and carefully follow the instructions in the funding opportunity announcement to which you are responding and the current application instructions carefully.
  • The best way to present your science may differ substantially from the approach taken by those who wrote the example applications. Seek feedback on your draft application from mentors and others.
  • Samples are not available for all grant programs. Many programs have common elements and the available samples can still provide helpful information.
  • Email the NCATS-SBIRSTTR@mail.nih.gov for advice and to determine if your proposed technology fits the NCATS mission.

Sample SBIR/STTR Applications:

Additional Resources

2020 SBIR/STTR Omnibus Solicitation Resources

Other Resources

  • 2015 Resource Guide for Small Businesses (PDF — 3MB)
    This guide from the Small Business Administration provides helpful guidance for interested small businesses.
  • Premarket Submission Information
    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have established a pilot program for concurrent review of certain FDA premarket review submissions for medical devices and CMS national coverage determinations. Reducing the interval between FDA marketing approval and Medicare coverage facilitates the development of innovative products and shortens the time it takes to bring these products to patients.

Tips for Women-Owned and Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Small Businesses

Through its SBIR/STTR programs, NCATS supports both women-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs and researchers from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Businesses can self-certify during the application process if they meet the criteria for one or both of the categories below.

Certification information is encouraged but not required. It is used for federal tracking purposes only to help NCATS and other NIH Institutes and Centers gain a better understanding of applicant demographics during specific funding opportunity cycles.

What Is a Women-Owned Small Business?

  • A women-owned business must be a minimum of 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more women and primarily managed by one or more women who are U.S. citizens.
  • A business is classified “small” in its primary industry in accordance with the Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards for that industry.
  • Small business applicants must self-certify on the SF424 (R&R) Form.

What Is a Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Small Business?

  • A socially and economically disadvantaged business must be a minimum of 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more disadvantaged people.
  • The disadvantaged person or people must be both socially disadvantaged and economically disadvantaged.
  • The business is classified “small” in its primary industry in accordance with the SBA size standards for that industry.
  • Applicants must self-certify by registering in the System for Award Management.

Federal and State Support for Awardees 

Small businesses may have access to state and federal support after receiving an NCATS SBIR/STTR award. Read more to find some current funding and technical assistance resources available from other federal agencies and state organizations.