The Alaska Small Business Development Center (Alaska SBDC) is home to the TREND program (Technology Research and Development Center of Alaska) which serves to assist Alaska’s innovators and entrepreneurs in competing for and winning federal research grants to commercialize their scalable technology.
TREND operates the Alaska Phase 0 program in partnership with the University of Alaska Fairbanks Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to identify ideas that have the potential to succeed and that will benefit from expert review and financial support.
What is SBIR?
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and its sibling, the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, are federal initiatives that provide over $2 billion in grants and contracts each year to small and start-up companies to develop new or enhanced products and services based on advanced technologies.
If you are into innovation research and the idea of bringing a new innovative product to market is of interest to you, you may want to learn more about the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. This program is designed specifically for small businesses (or start ups) that are able to bring a particular expertise or solution to a current challenge faced by one of eleven different federal agencies.
THE THREE PHASES OF SBIR/STTR
The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R/R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. SBIR/STTR Phase I awards are generally $50,000 – $250,000 for 6 months (SBIR) or 1 year (STTR).
The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the project proposed in Phase II. Typically, only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. SBIR/STTR Phase II awards are generally $750,000 for 2 years.
The objective of Phase III, where appropriate, is for the small business to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I/II R/R&D activities. The SBIR/STTR programs do not fund Phase III. At some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR/STTR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.
Phase 0 Funding
TREND partners with the Established Program to Simulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) to offer the Phase 0 program. Phase 0 provides grants to assist small businesses with SBIR/STTR proposal preparation.
The Alaska Phase 0 program is an optional and auxiliary phase designed to give Phase I and Phase II proposals a greater rate of success by providing expert reviews and financial support. It is not an official phase of the SBIR or STTR program and it is not a required step; however, SBIR and STTR proposals submitted under the Phase 0 program have a 30% award rate while the national average is just 15%.
2023 SBIR Phase 0 Awards – $50k in awards to Alaskan companies
- Alaska Adaptable Housing
- Copper River Fish Market
- GRAYSTAR Pacific
- Integrated Robotics Imaging Systems
Center ICE at UAF
The University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Center ICE SBIR support program is available to all Alaskans. Center ICE offers cohort-based “SBIR accelerator” programs on a set schedule, and can provide some assistance on an as-needed basis. Center ICE’s SBIR support program provides wrap-around services — all the way from grant matching to proposal submission and execution.
Center ICE provides the following SBIR/STTR services:
- Agency and topic navigation
- Proposal-writing training and guidance
- Mentorship and networking opportunities
Center ICE can also help with pre-SBIR/STTR. Through its National Science Foundation I-Corps Site program, Center ICE also provides customer discovery training and support.
SBIR/STTR-Related Webinars and Workshops
We encourage applicants to review the SBIR-related recordings and training we have available. You can view only the SBIR-related trainings in our client portal.