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Re: [ontolog-forum] Goverment funding for private research?

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Len Yabloko" <lenya@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 21 Apr 2009 21:50:45 +0000
Message-id: <W498561786160411240350645@webmail4>
>Well, I can't speak for the black holes in other agencies, but every 
>proposal we receive goes to a review team mostly selected by the person 
>who posted the research topic, and the reviews and ratings go on file. 
>If you submit to an NIST SBIR topic, you can come back in June, when the 
>awards are announced, and ask to see the reviews of your proposal.  You 
>won't see the reviewers' names, or your overall ranking, but you will 
>see every word the reviewers wrote.  So I recommend that you follow up 
>on some of those black holes and find out what you are doing wrong.
My experience is similar to what you described. However, I believe that very 
much depends on the agency. I received 3 reviews 3 sentences each and no 
suggestions for improvement. Overall response was not encoreging at all.     (01)

>In my experience, most SBIR reviewers are not interested in a solution 
>that is looking for a problem.  They want to know how your great idea 
>will solve their problem.  They are expecting to see a proposal that 
>demonstrates some knowledge of the problem space, and some new idea for 
>how to attack it.    (02)

I think "some knowledge... and new idea" is an understatement. My impression is 
that reviewers are looking for solid (certifiable) expertise and prove record 
of accomplishment in the field. Do you really think that some smart person with 
good idea can get government money just for interesting thoughts about solving 
particular problem at hand? If so, how can reviewer be sure that she is not 
wasting tax money?     (03)

>And yes, your reputation in the industry, and your prior relationships 
>with that agency or another agency will often make a difference, in one 
>direction or another.  But, as an erstwhile colleague of mine in the UK 
>NHS once observed, "it is nice to see a proposal that validates the 
>reputation."  ;-)
>-Ed    (04)

Are newcommers ever welcome? What about "high risk" requirements of SBIR? Does 
not industry reputation suggest opposite?    (05)

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