About White Papers
What is a White Paper?
Longtime used by government personnel to discuss a particular position or problem solution, in recent decades the term White Paper has also come to refer to documents used by companies to introduce technology innovations and products.
In the context of addressing bringing small firms and larger firms together in working relationship, an appropriately structured White Paper can provide a useful vehicle within which briefly (3-4 pages)
- to suggest the business case for the relevance of your capabilities to the task to hand
- with some non-proprietary indication of the technical aspects of what you have and are offering up for their consideration.– Note well that that discussion should be of potential outcomes NOT how the technology works
Properly structured, this type of White Papes as 'working document' can be an effective marketing communication tool.
Types of White Paper (WP)
White Papers submitted by interested SBIR awardees will be reviewed by the different personnel participating in the event and project representing Novartis Consumer Health.
Two types of White Paper:
General and specific:
This sponsored project is grounded in examining how the corporation can effectively collaborate with particular SBIR firms to draw down on their expertise and competencies to help Novartis address areas of interest that are in 5-7-10 year time horizons. In consequence, many of the listed Topics are preliminary in nature. They are not intended as RFPs - a White Paper is not a proposal. Similarly, as listed, several of the Topics do not lend themselves well to formal White Paper response. Rather, some Topics are better understood as context setting discussion points - where the conversation at the event will drill down to the specifics.
Therefore TWO types of White Papers may be submitted
- Those which, where appropriate, do indeed focus on a speciifc area of interest indicated
- Those which focus more tho the overall technical competencies the small firm bring to the table to address a range of topics listed.
Large firm/small firm collaborations:
What defines the ASSET system is that, in various settings,
- we work backwards from the defined technical needs and interests of the large and mid-sized firms in their role of Tech Seeker
- to the identification of particular SBIR awardees with the relevant technical focus, skill sets and capabiliites to be potential business partners.
Specifically, the focus is to those areas of endeavor in which the Tech Seeker with decision-making authority have told us that collaboration in some appropriate form with SBIR-involved firms is a declared business option and objective.
It is important to stress that these are not tire-kicking or window shopping exercises - these are not simply showcasing efforts; nor, in major part, are they product-buying endeavors as such. For the Tech Seeker engaging the ASSET system, the primary driver is that they have problems to solve and/or needs to be met where partnering would broaden the scope of expertise available; bring a fresh perspective; complement internal capabilities; reduce cost or shorten time to completion --- or some combination of all of the above.
How are White Papers being use here?
In the context of what we do to bring Tech Seekers together with appropriately qualified SBIR-involved firms, with other tools, White Papers have become a primary means whereby decision-makers in the larger firms can determine whether (or not) there is value in their getting to know more about a particular SBIR awardee and what they bring to the table.
- In the relatively open environment of an ASSETs Forum or … a Focus to (industry) event, along with Business Profiles and prepared Nutshells, White Papers provided pre-event by small firms serve well to allow both parties to any at-event discussion to know something about each other before that conversation begins. No large firm particpant in that multi-Tech Seeker Forum has veto power re. the event participation of any SBIR awardee who wishes to be involved.
- In the far more targeted context of an inknowvation@work event - where the effort is focused to the explicit needs of the particular large firm host - the White Paper also can become an important filtering mechanism. Based on what they read in received White Papers about the technical capabilities of a particular SBIR firm making application for invitation, along with other provided information (Business Profile or Nutshell), the Tech Seeker can decide if what this firm is about falls within the scope of their areas of major interest. As sponsor and host, theirs is the final authoriy re, who is permitted to partiicpate in that event. An effective White paper may be a major factor in determining who is invited.
White Paper template:
To give some consistency on these occasions to what is submitted to, and received by, the Tech Seeker, in the My Private Work area provided to all interest-registering SBIR awardees, we provide a Working Template. Retained in editable format there until you are finished working on it, the template can help guide the less experienced through the types of issues usefully addressed in such documents.
More experienced players who may well already have such White Paper type pieces may, if they judge them to be relevant to the task, use those in lieu of preparing new ones here. If that is the case, forward those to us as attachment to an email.
The elements which make up a Data Sheet or Product Brief – features, benefits etc – are usefully descriptive and, entirely appropriately, will likely be an integral part of most submitted White Papers.
However, those with considerable experience in this space suggest that, to make that White Paper most effective - i.e. to have the target audience actually read it - the effort should be to engage that reader. By leading with discussion of the areas of problem concern already identified by the Tech Seeker as of iterest and relating how what you bring to the table - skills and capabilities as well as technology specifics - could potentially address those concerns, you are already providing the basis for pre- and at-event discussion.