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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Research and Development
National Center for Environmental Research
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

CLOSED - FOR REFERENCES PURPOSES ONLY

Small Business Innovation Research - 1998 Program Description Phase I

ISSUE DATE: September 18, 1997
CLOSING DATE: November 18, 1997 *

* CAUTION - Late Submissions, Modifications and Withdrawals: See Section V, Paragraph K

A. The Environmental Protection Agency invites small business firms to submit research proposals under this program solicitation entitled "Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program." The SBIR program is a phased process uniform throughout the Federal Government of soliciting proposals and awarding funding agreements for research (R) or research and development (R&D) to meet stated agency needs or missions.

B. EPA is interested in research on advanced concepts in scientific and engineering areas, particularly where the research may serve as a base for technological innovation. The proposed research must address a single research topic of the solicitation or an important segment of a research topic. Only proposals addressing a single research topic, and so indicated on the cover sheet, will be reviewed. Multiple proposals from the same offeror addressing different topics are acceptable if they are not duplicates of the same research principle modified to fit the topics. If such duplicates are submitted, only one will be reviewed. Refer to Sections III, IV, and VIII for additional requirements.

The same proposal may not be submitted under more than one topic. However, an organization may submit separate proposals on different topics or different proposals on the same topic under this solicitation. Where similar research is discussed under more than one topic, the offeror should choose the topic whose description appears more relevant to the proposer's research concept. Offerors may respond to any of the topics or to specific subtopics within them. Research may be carried through the construction and evaluation of a laboratory prototype.

To reiterate, any proposal addressing more than one research topic, failing to identify the research topic by letter symbol (see Pages 28-41, Section VIII) on the cover page, or is a duplicate of the same research principle modified to fit a topic, will not be reviewed at all.

This solicitation is for Phase I only.

To stimulate and foster technological innovation, including increasing private sector applications of Federal research or R&D, the EPA's program will follow the SBIR program's uniform process of three phases:

1. PHASE I

Phase I involves a solicitation of proposals to conduct feasibility related experimental research or R&D related to described agency requirements. The objective of this phase is to determine the technical feasibility and preliminary commercialization potential of the proposed effort and the quality of performance of the small concern with a relatively small agency investment before consideration of further Federal support in Phase II.

2. PHASE II

Phase II proposals may only be submitted by Phase I award winners within the same agency. Phase II is the principal research or R&D effort and should not normally exceed 24 months. Funding shall be based upon the results of Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the Phase II proposal. The objective is to continue the research or R&D initiated under Phase I. Phase II proposals can only be submitted to the Federal participating agency that awarded Phase I of the effort. Phase II awards may not necessarily complete the total research and development that may be required to satisfy commercial or federal needs beyond the SBIR program. Completion of the research and development may be through Phase III. The Agency is under no obligation to fund any proposal or any specific number of proposals in a given topic. It also may elect to fund several or none of the proposed approaches to the same topic or subtopic.

It is anticipated that approximately 10-20 Phase II awards with a maximum total dollar amount of $225,000 each will be made. However, the Agency is considering, as part of the 1998 Phase II solicitation, ways to increase commercialization planning. Considerations include requiring a commercialization plan as a deliverable at the end of Phase II, or requiring various parts of the commercialization plan at critical steps during Phase II. Alternatively, EPA may award contracts with a base price of up to $200,000, and a contractual option that would extend the contract period and increase the funding level of Phase II by up to $70,000. The Agency would have a unilateral right to exercise the option after Agency review and acceptance of the company's detailed commercialization plan, including information on any commercialization funding from third party investors such as another company, venture capital firm or "angel" investor.

It is anticipated that each Phase II proposal will be evaluated in accordance with the following criteria to determine the results of Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the proposal.

CRITERIA

  • 1. The scientific and technical significance of the proposed technology. Originality and soundness of the research plan to establish the technical and commercial feasibility of the concept. The uniqueness/ingenuity of the proposed concept or application as technological innovation.

  • 2. Results of Phase I and degree to which research objectives and identified customer needs were met. Demonstration of performance/cost effectiveness and environmental benefits associated with the proposed research, including risk reduction potential.

  • 3. Qualifications of the principal/key investigator, supporting staff and consultants. Time commitment of principal/key investigator and adequacy of equipment and facilities to accomplish the proposed research.

  • 4. The quality and adequacy of the commercialization plan to produce an innovative product, process or device and getting it into commercial production and sales. Expected market and competition and other financial/business indicators of commercialization potential and the offeror's SBIR or other research commercialization record.

  • 5. Potential of the proposed concept for significant commercial applications. Phase II and Phase III funding commitments from the private sector and non-SBIR sources. The strength, conditions and amounts of Phase II and Phase III funding commitments from third party investors - such as another company, venture capital firm or "angel" investor.

3. PHASE III

Where appropriate, there may be a third phase which is funded by:

  • a. Non-federal sources of capital for commercial applications of SBIR funded research or research and development,

  • b. The federal government by follow-on non-SBIR awards for SBIR derived products and processes for use by the federal government,

  • c. Non-SBIR federal sources for the continuation of research or research and development that has been competitively selected using peer review or scientific review criteria.

Agencies which intend to pursue research, research & development or production developed under the SBIR Program will give special acquisition preference including sole source awards to the SBIR company which developed the technology. The Phase III funding agreement will be with non-SBIR funds.

C. ELIGIBILITY

Each concern submitting a proposal must qualify as a small business for research or R&D purposes at the time of award. In addition, the primary employment of the principal investigator must be with the small business concern at the time of award and during the conduct of the proposed research. Principal Investigators who appear to be employed by a university must submit a letter from the university stating that the principal investigator, if awarded an SBIR contract, will become a less-than-half-time employee of the university. By the same token, a principal investigator who appears to be a staff member of both the applicant/offeror organization and another employer must submit a letter from the second employer stating that, if awarded an SBIR contract, he/she will become a less-than-half-time employee of such organization. Also for both Phase I and Phase II, the research or R&D work must be performed in the United States. "United States" means the fifty states, the Territories and possessions of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, and the District of Columbia.

D. All inquiries concerning this solicitation shall be submitted to the following E-mail address:

peele.kathryn@epamail.epa.gov

If E-mail is not available to you, written or telephone inquiries may be directed to:

Kathryn Peele/SBIR-I
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Contracts Management Division (MD-33)
Research Triangle Park, N.C. 27711
(919) 541-5293

Potential offerors are encouraged to communicate via E-mail.

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