Benefits of Searching Current and Past Awards

One of the main “homework” items that we assign to small business clients that we work with is to research current and past SBIR/STTR awards. While the participating federal agencies offer award databases, we often suggest https://www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/award/all because it encompasses all agencies’ awards. Here you can search for awards by keyword, company name and topic code. Results can be filtered by agency, year, state, and phase.

The benefits of searching awards is multi-fold:

Finding an agency match
– Prior to delving into an agency-specific solicitation search, it is important to gain insight into which agencies have funded technologies in your area of interest. We always preach, “do not judge an agency by its name”. You may find that one particular agency has funded work you are also interested in getting funding for, or you may find that multiple agencies have funded similar work. With this information you will then know the particular agencies to focus your solicitation searches on.

Understanding the state of the art
– While the award search results will not lead you to the complete proposal that was funded, it will provide the abstract of the proposal. By reading the abstract you can get an understanding of cutting-edge work that is being done that perhaps has not been published or promoted through other channels yet.

Identifying a partner
– Award searches also provide information about the small business that received the award. This includes name, contact information and complete SBIR/STTR award history. On one hand, this can be viewed as “competitive analysis”. On the other hand, it could be looked at as potential partner opportunities. After conducting some further due diligence on the awardees, you may find that there are some synergies that could be exploited if you were to team up on future proposal submissions.