Welcome: Guest | Register | Login |

 ASSETs®: an acronym that well describes what this system is about 
A
ccess SBIR-STTR Scientific & Engineering Talent system: 

Developed by long-time SBIR advocate Ann Eskesen, ASSETs is an integrated, market-pull, needs-driven system structured to provide the means - the tools, content diversity, resources AND opportunities (on and offline) - pro-actively and creatively to enable useful and relevant technology capability connections, to support real and appropriate business transactions and to facilitate viable, potentially sustainable working relationships between

  • those persons - called here Tech Seekers – in Major/Mid-sized Corporations and (increasingly in) Mission Agencies having the responsibility (1) to identify, and (2) the authority to engage the talent, capabilities and in-place outcomes of external sources of technical expertise
  • and those specific SBIR-involved firms that critical capabilities analyses - and comprehensive pre-contact - suggests have the requisite skills-sets and capacities sought by the Tech Seeker to tackle particular projects, along with the in-place IP and/or the products they want/need to buy

Anchored in powerful analytical systems and for many years operational primarily in event mode (Face-to-Face (F2F): by-invitation, small-scale and targeted, highly interactive working sessions), ASSETs is now expanded to employ FOUR different techniques and approaches to enable these sustainable Working Relationships - STEP; F2F; IP3 and P3V.  Compelling evidence of the effectiveness of this highly sophisticated, data-driven, systematic mining of the detailed SBIR competency pool to match Tech Seeker needs to relevant expertise, is the fact that the ASSET system has already enabled more than $300M of working relationships and business transactions.

How is the ASSET system different?
       .. simply "Validated competencies"

Collectively, SBIR Awardees are usefully understood as a quite remarkable -- perhaps unique -- aggregation of technical talent.  The basic premise from which ASSETs proceeds is that the extent and form of SBIR engagement by a small firm can be a useful starting indicator of what they may be capable of doing.  The assumption is not that SBIR involvement is causative. Instead, being SBIR involved functions as a very useful listing vehicle with, evenfor the very new Awardees, some a prelminary indication of (likely) competencies.   HOWEVER, to enable truly effective business partnering and technology collaborations, it is our poorfessional judgment that far more must be known about the capabilites of awardees than simply the extent and form of their SBIR involvement.

The clear differentiating factor of ASSETs, therefore, is that everything we do is anchored in systematic and ongoing compilation, tracking and maintenance of a wide range of useful indicators of technology competencies and business condition of SBIR-STTR Awardees: see Tracking Elements.  Further, we judge that in this partner-enabling mode, emphasis must be

  • far less – if at all - on showcasing what the small firm is selling
  • as it is about
    • determining and understanding the functionalities of the small firm's technology(ies): how else it can be used
    • and its relevance to addressing directly what the Tech Seeker is buying.
In common with many others, we define what we do as "addressing Tech Seeker needs",  Critically, however, what we do - and particularly how we do it - cannot in any way be considered a form of CrowdSourcing or of Open Innovation.
  • With JOBs Act implementation, the former has actually become a useful tool for some forms of fund-raising.  Though so far not yet many, our data shows that a growing number of SBIR-involved firms have used/are using these CrowdSourcing platforms to useful purpose. 
  • Further, while the concept of Open Innovation (OI) continues to be valid - that working relationships with external players can be very effective - the inherently limited capacity of OI proponents specifically to target and/or to validate the relevant expertise of those theycontact and those who respond has proven seriously problematic.  The trend has been towards shifting Project Funding opportunities from dollar levels that used to be equivalent to those of (say) an SBIR Phase I,  instead these days to be primarily very small (dollar) projects with, on occasion, the more interesting, larger dollars of Challenges.
With cause, fewer and fewer SBIR involved firms opt to play in these arenas.

In striking and deliberate contrast, ASSETs is entirely organized around meeting the needs of participating Tech Seeker from within the ranks of SBIR-involved - competency validated - Awardees.  Specifically, the effort is
  • to work from the detail of what the Tech Seeker wants: what is the task to hand?
  • to identify that specific population of SBIR Awardees having the relevant qualifications -- skill sets and capablities -- to take on that task
In sum, if you are
  • an SBIR Awardee hearing from us, it will
    • only be for those projects for which you are judged qualified and capable of doing
    • and, thereby, you will know that you are likely be competing only against that limited number of other SBIR Awardees whom we judge similar competent
  • the requesting Tech Seeker, you can assume that any -- and all -- responses you will receive will likely be worthy of your consideration

Thinking about the collectivity that is SBIR Awardees
as equivalent to a massively distributed R&D facility:
 
The trend analyses the extensive and comprehensive SBIR data compiled by the Innovation Development Institute LLC make possible - see Analytics area of this site - clearly shows that the collectively that is SBIR-STTR-involved firms is by far the largest single concentration of technical talent:  almost three times more graduate level engineers and scientists being SBIR employed and connected than all academic researcher combined.  HOWEVER, unlike the fairly well-defined (and readily identifiable) population of academic and non-profit research institutions, for those wishing on any systematic basis to engage this talent

  • simply even to find who they might usefully want to talk to
  • then to achieve a mutually viable, appropriate form of initial working relationships with firm(s) of interest

can be a daunting challenge.  SBIR-involved firms are primarily - almost by definition - small in size: the overwhelming percentage employ fewer than 25 people with a major percentage being very young. They are over the map geographically, in terms of stage of business development, plans for their firm, resource access, areas of technical focus and by any other variable one might wish to list. Even among more established entities, if their SBIR involvement - and thereby their funding agency-identity

  • is recent, limited and/or often indicative of only a part of what they are about
  • and/or they may have a platform capability that extends beyond the specific SBIR-funded element

that Tech Seeker may never find what they seek or identify the hidden gem that could/would be potentially important.

From very shortly after achieving passage of the orginal SBIR enabling legislation, therefore, we opted instead to think about - and to address - the SBIR community as the equivalent of a massively distributed R&D facility likely to include within its ranks those of potentially considerable interest across any and all fields of technical endeavor.  By continuously

  • tracking Awardees by an increasing numbers of factors - technical, business and economic
  • and developing tools and techniques effectively to mine those for a range of purposes
the ASSET system has become by far the most comprehensive and sophisticated means by which the value of what actually resides in that facility can be most effectively identified and realized.

STEP: SBIR Talent Engagement Platform is a Solicitation & Proposal Submission initiative - offers participating Tech Seekers useful, project-specific access into this pool of demonstrated talent.
It is anticipated that, based on current levels of Tech Seeker expressed interest, this latest offering will be roughly equivalent in size and dollar commitment to one of the larger, small SBIR-involved agencies.
Face-2-Face is the collective term used to define the various ASSETs related Events.  By definition all Events offered by idi are
  • entirely by invitation
  • deliberately small in scale involving only those players seriously interested in getting to useful outcomes
  • anchored in the relevant extent to pre-event contact to ensure those results: typically, some one-third of invited small firms participant report post-event activity

iP3

Still in development, iP3 is being structured to function to meet two specific objectives
  1. In a manner similar that of the very best of the University Technology Licensing Offices, iP3 will include an IP available for Licensing area.  Interested SBIR-involved firms, Tech Seekers and - under consideration - perhaps some academic institutions and others would be afforded opportunity to post. That area of the site will also include Support documentation, articles of interest and consequence written and monitored by recruited experts in the field
  2. In a sophisticated version of the careful matching of Tech Seeker need to specific SBIR capabilities that defines other ASSET components, a primary focus of  iP3  will be provision to Tech Seekers of a powerful, in-depth Executive IP Search Service of SBIR Awardee-held Intellectial Property

P3V

P3V: Phase III Ventures

ExPres: Expertise Precision Sourcing:

ExPres: Expertise Precision Sourcing:
The ASSET system is solidly anchored in powerful relational databases initiated by the Innovation Development Institute LLC soon after passage of the SBIR enabling legislation as a useful means of tracking awards distribution - following the money. As the technology has evolved, so have the systems we maintain and use and that now support

  • a comprehensive range of information relevant to the business and technology condition of every SBIR-STTR-involved firm:  see Database Elements
  • AND, using powerful Technical Thesaurus, Context Relevancy tools and sophisticated proporietary algorithms to mine that data,

we are able to identify often quite specifically that population of SBIR awardees likely having the skills sets and capabilities relevant to the task(s) of consequence to the Tech Seeker.

Enabling Tech Seeker-SBIR Awardee collaborations

Tech Seeker/SBIR Awardee working relationships were a factor in the SBIR area from the outset: 1983.  Particularly following provision in 1992 SBIR Reauthorization that explicitly enabled transition of Phase II projects into Phase III federal procurement opportunity without competitive bid, most Primes - large-scale Federal Contractors - became even more actively SBIR engaged.

Though private sector oriented Large/mid-sized Corporations took a while longer, in the past 15+ years, many of them too have found some level of SBIR engagement increasingly relevant and useful.

For all parties involved - small and larger firm alike - the sheer diversity of relationship types is worth noting.  The idi-initiated ASSET system is organized around providing the structure, means and opportunity to enable those relationships.

Among the most comprehensive sources of searchable SBIR-STTR awards data - and arguably (by decades) the first such resource - the primary focus of data collection for our powerful relational systems is compilation of a range of data indicative of the technological capabilities and business condition of all awardees: 1983-present
    To that end, our offline systems include a range of other useful data on every SBIR-STTR-involved firm to include - in addition to currenty active -  those having out-grown the program, been acquired, disconinued operations and/or moved on to other endeavor.
    Engaging an extensive, in-house developed Technical Thesaurus and powerful algorithms supporting a Context Relevancy approach, a track record of matching Tech Seeker needs to SBIR capabilities has already enabled transactions factoring to $300M.   

Significantly to improve the speed and accuracy of this Needs-Drive/Market-Pull process, in development is an approach to incorporate Machine Learning into our systems. To maximize return on this effort, SIX areas of focus have been identifed that have relevancy across a range of industry and applications 

Machine Learning: Areas of Classification Focus

Energy Storage Cyber Security
Robotics Sensors
Coatings All things water-relate

Anchored in the valued input of Subject Matter Experts in each of these areas, the effort is to identify and flag the extent of SBIR-involved players in each of these areas. In the role of

  • EITHER SBIR-STTR Awardee with relevant expertise inone/more of these areas
  • OR Tech Seekers interested in accessing SBIR Talent working in any of these spaces

you are encouraged to contact us

Tech Partnering Stats

Contact information

Innovation Development Institute, LLC

   45 Beach Bluff Avenue, Suite 300
     Swampscott,  MA 01907-1542

  Tel:  (781) 595-2920

  support@inknowvation.com