Yes, budget negotiations have the federal government partially closed. The good news is that the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are still open. As some of the largest sources of early-stage capital for technology commercialization in the United States, SBIR and STTR remain critical.
As ATDC’s SBIR/STTR program manager, I work with our entrepreneurs and companies with their federal research funding and I have been fielding questions from entrepreneurs regarding funding status.
Here’s what’s important to know:
If an agency has an open solicitation with a posted due date, chances are that due date hasn’t changed. If you have a proposal due soon, make sure you get it in.
Each agency that participates in SBIR/STTR has an SBIR/STTR Program Office and website. A list of these can be found here: sbir.gov/agencies-landing. For specific questions, check agencies’ respective websites.
If the agency is closed or its SBIR/STTR program altered, the website will have a banner posted to alert you about the closure and a pause in website updates. Some agencies are completely closed. Some are open, but their response time might be extremely slow due to a skeleton staff.
Some agencies, including NASA, were due to release their latest SBIR/STTR funding announcements the week of Jan. 7, 2019. If government is not fully reopened by next week, then expect further delays in funding announcements.
How long it takes them to review and award, is another story. Depending on the length of the shutdown, the agencies might be able to “catch up” and award when expected, but there might be a delay, so plan your company budgets as if there is a delay.
The SBIR program has been in existence since 1980 and this is not the first time there has been a government shutdown since its inception.
Never fear, though. The SBIR/STTR programs are authorized through 2022, so when the government fully reopens, they will be back and 100 percent operational.
If you have any questions, please email me at: email@example.com.
For those companies that are formed out of Georgia Tech or looking license or subcontract Tech research, Georgia Tech’s Office of Sponsored Programs’ (OSP) has set up SBIR@gtrc.gatech.edu to receive questions related to SBIR/STTR proposals. The OSP contact for SBIR/STTR proposals is Timothy Gehret: firstname.lastname@example.org.