When developing an SBIR/STTR strategy, seeking solicitations posted by desired agencies, on either SBIR.gov or the agency websites, is usually required. Often times, this step is time consuming and offers few immediate results to match the innovator’s skillset or concept. To maximize the chances of success, the innovator must be diligent in reviewing solicitations upon pre-release and schedule times to do such. Unfortunately, the solicitation search process may leave the innovator discouraged and less motivated to perform the process on a regular basis. As an insult to injury, this method does not address the variety of other Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) that are released at random times by different Department of Defense (DoD) agencies and NASA. These BAAs may involve SBIR or may involve some other funding mechanism to address a critical need, and the innovator may discover them with little, if any, time to prepare a proposal.
However, there is straightforward way to become aware of these SBIR and other BAA opportunities to augment the process of marking the pre-release date with an e-Sharpie on your calendar. For example, the SBTDC receives updates directly from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Since this information may be key to getting a jump on a funding opportunity, our Tech Comm team has developed an e-mail list of individuals to receive updates on out-of-cycle DARPA grant opportunities. If you are interested in receiving such emails, please notify Chris Veal at firstname.lastname@example.org indicating that you wish to receive notifications regarding DARPA funding. Since there may be other agencies offering such a service, the SBTDC will continue to monitor the SBIR environment for other lists to include in future publications.
Since the SBTDC cannot be responsible for all announcements from DARPA and not all agencies have a listserve-type notification system, there is a work around. Firefox and Chrome browsers provide for the scheduling of specific webpages to open automatically on your computer or other smart device at defined intervals. This task is done through a simple add-on to your browser. We recommended that you use an add-on from the browser’s add-ons page, such as Mozilla. For instance, the following link will take you to the scheduler for Firefox, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/simple-browsing-schedule/. This page provides instructions on use of the scheduler along with the download. Microsoft, Google, etc. should offer something similar.
At this point, you can choose to have nearly any listing of SBIR/BAA opportunities open on your screen monthly, weekly, or even daily, to prompt you to you to review upcoming deadlines and notice any new additions. This could also be useful if you have submitted a question to the DoD help system (SITIS) and are awaiting a publicly posted answer from DoD.
One never knows…you may turn on your computer to find that your big funding break is right in front of you.