National SBIR/STTR Event a Trove for Researcher (Guest Post)
November 17th, 2014 by Tito Viswanathan
Dr. Tito Viswanathan, chief scientific officer for Synanomet LLC, winner of SBIR Phase I and II awards from the Environmental Protection Agency, recently attended his first Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer national conference and shared these thoughts with L2L.
The 2014 Fall National SBIR/STTR Conference and Showcase and Defense Energy Summit were held at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center in Austin, Texas Nov. 11-14.
An important feature of the conference was the opportunity to meet various SBIR/STTR program managers and staff in a one-on-one table environment. Even though the time for the one-on-one meeting was only 15 minutes, it gave an opportunity to potential SBIR/STTR principal investigators to gain valuable insight into funding possibilities. You could sign up for up to five meetings with different agencies being represented at the conference.
Program managers wanted to know what you have to offer via a potential SBIR/STTR contract or grant. They provided avenues for funding opportunities beyond the traditional Phase I awards.
The different funding agencies – National Science Foundation, Department of Defense (Army, Navy, Air Force), Department of Homeland Security, Department of Energy, NASA, and Education, to name a few – had booths at the conference. There were also solution providers, companies who showcased their products to interested clients.
Prior to the conference, a networking platform allowed participants to reach out to other attendees as well as solution providers. A webinar titled “Making the Most of the SBIR/STTR Conference” was also offered before the event. The webinar discussed how to prepare a “Quad Chart” – a one-page summary highlighting your SBIR/STTR project to share with program managers during one-on-one sessions.
The registration fee was $395 per person and hotel costs at the conference center were approximately $700 for a three-night stay.