Usefully understood as a (largely) private-sector funded version of the long-time, highly effective SBIR program, STEP -- SBIR Talent Engagement Platform - is a Solicitation & Proposal Submission initiative and a key component of the comprehensive, multi-faceted ASSET system. Similarly grounded as all other ASSET components in the proprietary and exquisitely detailed SBIR Awardee Tracking Systems developed and longtime maintained by ithe Innovation Development Institute LLC, STEP enables the pro-active engagement of the specific and relevant SBIR-STTR talent sought by Tech Seekers to tackle what are effectively, competitively-bid Research Projects and other related efforts.
Consistent with lessons learned from some $45B of SBIR-STTR Phase I-Phase II awards activity over now almost 35 years and drawing down on the input and combined experience by hundreds of personnel across the full range of federal agencies, STEP is NOT managed as a year-round sequence of frequently offered Tech Seeker project announcements. Instead, to ensure focused project exposure, targeted notifications to approporiately qualified and depth-in-quality response(s), STEP is currently offered as a twice-a-year Solicitation-based system
To ensure a quality response by sufficient quality candidates, the initiating solicitation(s) distributed to that population of SBIR-involved judged best qualified to respond includes
How STEP works:
With the option by Tech Seekers of full identification or total anonymity - or something between - Phase I Projects Responses to Posted Topics are initiated through non-confidential submissions by SBIR Awardees from among those contacted and interested in the opportunity. Also made available to participating Tech Seeker in their SMART Office are various data about applicants and other supplementary materials designed to support evaluation and selection of the specific SBIR-involved players with which they wish to interact.
Available only to Tech Seekers having an in-place Corporate Retainer Account, the core concept of SBIR Connect is to enable interested Tech Seekers to have early engagement with, and involvement in, SBIR-STTR Projects of interest and, not trivially for many, subsequent useful access into other (often sole source) federal funding.
Organized and anchored in the federal application and awards process, the Connect Effort pro-actively supports Tech Seekers and those small firms of interest and/or interested in partnering through
Work for Hire:
An important component of SBIR: Connect also is Work-For-Hire - a version of the classic Contract Project Funding. Typically, these engagements are