SBIR Gateway
SBA Issues New STTR
Policy Directive

From SBIR Gateway Insider Newsletter
December 16, 2005

Download Policy Directive
SBA Publishes Final STTR Policy Directive (12/16/05) - On December 16, 2005 the SBA published its long awaited Small Business Technology Transfer Program Policy Directive (RIN 3245–AE96). This STTR Policy Directive (PD) has been a long time in the making (originally proposed June 16, 2003) and required a complex process of approvals before becoming the final. Participation of industry associations such as SBTC as well as individual companies and SBIR/STTR proponents played an important role of providing feedback to the SBA concerning the language of this PD.

There are no major surprises but one significant change is the ability to subcontract with a Federal Funded Research & Development Center (FFRDC) without obtaining an SBA waiver.

A small business can now utilize (subcontract) a portion of their award to an FFRDC without needing to file for an exemption with the SBA. [ List of FFRDCs ]
However, SBA notes that STTR funds may not be used to pay for lab resources of non-FFRDCs, unless a waiver is granted.

Eligibility, funding levels and award amounts remain the same. There was a growing movement to increase the Dollar Value of Awards to $150,000 for phase I awards and $1,000,000 for phase II, but that was not included in this PD. However, an awarding agency may exceed those award values where appropriate for a particular project. After award of any funding agreement exceeding $100,000 for Phase I or $750,000 for Phase II, the agency's STTR representative must provide SBA with written justification of such action.

Tech-Net and SBIR/STTR Databases - The SBA has now gotten serious about committing resources to update the Tech-Net database, and the PD addresses some of those changes that are now occurring. Reading between the lines it appears that work is being done to alter the core of the system to better meet the needs of the SBIR/STTR community. This is being addressed due to 44 U.S.C., Chapter 35, the Paperwork Reduction Act, which SBA has determined imposes reporting or recordkeeping requirements. Long ago the SBA was tasked with building a public and government database which was only partially done, then left to age with minimal updating.

NOTE: Due to the changes in the Tech-Net database since publication of the proposed policy directive in 2003, SBA is granting an additional 30-day comment period. Those of you who provide SBIR/STTR assistance services (including Federal, State and Local Governments) should take note of this opportunity. The SBIR Gateway encourages Congressional Staffers & State Representatives to let SBA know what reports you need the TechNet to provide.

The SBA will accept your comments pertaining to:

(1) Whether the final collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of SBA’s responsibilities and functions under the STTR Program, including whether the information will have a practical utility

(2) The accuracy of SBA’s estimate of the burden of the final collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques, when appropriate, and other forms of information technology.

Written comments must be received on or before January 17, 2006 and should be addressed to:

Agency Clearance Officer
Jacqueline White
Small Business Administration
409 3rd Street, SW., 5th Floor
Washington, DC 20416

and also to:

Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Office of Management and Budget
Attention: Desk Officer for SBA
New Executive Office Building
Washington, DC 20503.

If necessary, SBA will revise the information collection in response to any comments the Agency receives by the close of the comment period.

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