SBIR Policy Directive 2012
Executive Summary
C. SBIR Program Administration

[Updated 8/6/12]

With respect to each agency's administration of the SBIR Program, the Policy Directive incorporates the following new requirements:
  • Addressing statutory changes for technical assistance provided to SBIR awardees;

  • Creating and setting forth the policies for the new pilot program that permits agencies to use SBIR money for administration of the SBIR program; and

  • Setting forth the new reporting and data collection requirements.

The Act had previously permitted agencies to contract with vendors to provide technical assistance to SBIR awardees (e.g. assist SBIR awardees in making better technical decisions on SBIR projects and commercializing the SBIR product or process). The Reauthorization Act amended this current requirement, and SBA has amended the directive, to permit agencies to contract with a vendor for a period of up to 5 years, permit an agency to provide technical assistance to an SBIR awardee in an amount up to $5,000 per year (previously the limit had been $4,000 per award), and permit the small business to elect to acquire the technical assistance services itself.

In addition, the Reauthorization Act creates a pilot program that permits agencies to use SBIR funds for certain administrative purposes. Prior to this amendment, agencies were not permitted to use SBIR funds for any purpose other than awards and technical assistance to small businesses. Therefore, SBA has amended the SBIR Policy Directive to set forth when and how agencies may begin using this pilot program authority and to explain that agencies may use no more than 3% of their SBIR funds for one or more of the specified activities.

SBA has also amended the Policy Directive to address the reporting requirements for both the SBIR participating agencies and SBIR applicants, many of which are newly required by various parts of the Reauthorization Act. Both applicants and agencies will be able to provide the statutorily required information into one or more of seven specific databases, collectively referred to as Tech-Net, which will be available at

The seven databases are the:
(1) Solicitations;
(2) Company Registry;
(3) Application Information;
(4) Award Information;
(5) Commercialization;
(6) Annual Report; and
(7) Other Reports Databases.

The directive explains that the Solicitations Database will collect all solicitations and topic information from the participating SBIR agencies. The Company Registry will house company information on all SBIR applicants and information on SBC applicants that are majority- owned by multiple VCOCs, hedge funds or private equity firms. The Application Information Database will contain information concerning each SBIR application, which will be uploaded by an SBIR agency. The Award Information Database will store information about each SBIR awardee and must also be uploaded by the SBIR agency.

The Commercialization Database will store commercialization information for SBCs that have received SBIR awards. The Annual Report Database will include all of the information required by the Small Business Act, including the new requirements set forth in the Reauthorization Act regarding the Annual Report that SBA submits to Congress. SBA receives the information for the annual report from the various SBIR agencies and departments. The Other Reports Database will include information that is required by statute to be submitted, but does not fit into any of the other databases.

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