In an effort to make the peer review process more transparent the NIH has been phasing in new guidelines for grant review. Of interest to the SBIR/STTR applicant the scale on which an application is scored has been changed.
Instead of being scored 1 to 5 (exceptional to poor) and the average multiplied by 100, SBIR/STTR grants are now scored 1 to 9 (exceptional to poor) with the average multiplied by 10. In addition, applications that were not discussed in study section will now receive their initial criterion score as part of their summary statement. This may give you some insight into why your application was not discussed.
But what do these new scores mean? How can you know whether your application is likely to be funded? Previously a score of 180 or below meant you had a pretty good chance of being funded. If you extrapolate that to a 90 point system would a score of 32 or below translate into an awarded grant?
Only time will tell.