Ron, thanks for advice (01)
>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. (02)
Can you suggest a scenario (or better yet- example) when established company
would give someone "first contract"? The only contract I can think of is
contract under which all your work becomes property of this company. (03)
>After you have been the main researcher on a project, you will have a
>better chance. (04)
Again - I can't imagine main researcher on a project leave this position to
start his company hoping to get smallish government grant as "first contract". (05)
>The established company may also give you a good grounding on how to get
>and to manage a government project. (06)
What you are saying makes sense only if you remove "first contract". Then
government grant can be an additional client and sales channel. First contract
is usually a "catch 22". (07)
>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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