Given all of Ed's advice and suggestions, I can only add that you
probably will have more success partnering with an established company
for your first contract. (01)
After you have been the main researcher on a project, you will have a
better chance. (02)
The established company may also give you a good grounding on how to get
and to manage a government project. (03)
Ed Barkmeyer wrote:
> Len Yabloko wrote:
>> My experience is similar to what you described. However, I believe
>> that very much depends on the agency.
> I'm sure it does. NIST is a small agency, and we don't have a lot of
> SBIR grant money (as Chris implied) and we pride ourselves on being
> conscientious about this stuff. Other agencies have much more money,
> and get orders of magnitude more SBIR proposals, and don't have a
> proportionate evaluation staff. So you get the very quick 3-pile
> system: Yes, Maybe, No, and the No's get the 3-sentence review.
>> 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?
> Yes. But that person has to have some track record. It is the
> Catch-22: you can't get a contract if you have never had a contract.
> (And that is why NSF has first-timer grant programs.) If you were the
> lead PI on a project at Raytheon or sold your software product to NASA
> Ames, or whatever, that may be enough.
>> If so, how can reviewer be sure that she is not wasting tax money?
> She can't be sure, ever. And it is probably fair to say that 9 out of
> every 10 such grants are a waste of taxpayer money with respect to the
> objective at hand. But they are somebody's first grant, or they kept
> some smart person actively engaged in the area and working with and
> educating the agency, or they demonstrated the fruitlessness of a blind
> alley, etc., all of which may bear fruit later.
>> Are newcommers ever welcome?
> If you mean "wet behind the ears", no. But new small businesses created
> by experienced people, or people with a clear idea and the knowledge of
> where the market for that idea is, yes.
>> What about "high risk" requirements of SBIR?
> That just means that you can't propose something they have already done
> or can buy off-the-shelf, or something that is a simple matter of
> engineering using a well-known approach, i.e. something they could do in
> a week or so themselves. Much of the "high risk" requirement is just
> nominal justification for public venture capitalism. ;-)
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