November 30, 1999 in SBIR/STTR News

Looking to Subcontract?

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You are preparing your SBIR/STTR proposal and have determined you will be partnering with another company or a research institute to complete some of the research. [NOTE: If you are preparing an STTR, you are required to subcontract with a non-profit research institute for 30-60% of the technical work.  If you are preparing an SBIR, you can subcontract up to 33% of your work to another company, individual, or research institute (but not required).]  Before you put a subcontractor in your proposal, ask yourself a few questions: 

  • What will be their level of involvement?

  • What exactly will they bring to the table that you can’t do in house?

  • Do they have the technical expertise to do the work you need done?

  • In theory they might be perfect for the job, but do they have the time to complete the work you need done?

  • If the work is to be done at their location, do they have the appropriate space, equipment, staff, etc. to carry out the work?

  • What's their track record for other projects?

  • Do they complete projects on time and on budget?

  • Have you checked their references? 

  • Do you have an agreement (in writing) verifying their willingness to participate in the research study, along with a task list and their rate?

  • Who will own the Intellectual Property?

  • How will they track their time/measure their effort?

When you submit a proposal with a subcontract, the reviewing agency will evaluate all aspects of your proposal, including the capabilities and track record of your subcontractors.  Don’t just pick a company out of the air; pick the BEST contractor: carefully evaluate them and what you need them to do.

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