July 14, 2017
Category: Research Park



The University of Illinois Research Park (UIRP LLC) and EnterpriseWorks Incubator at the University of Illinois are offering SBIR / STTR technical assistance and counseling services to technology startup businesses across Illinois. This program is supported through the Illinois University Incubator Network (IUIN) and EDA University Center. Both the IUIN and the EDA University Center are funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration Economic Adjustment Assistance Program Illinois University Incubator Network (IUIN). The UIRP LLC and EnterpriseWorks Incubator are seeking consultants to provide SBIR / STTR assistance and training to Illinois small businesses and entrepreneurs primarily associated with universities across the state of Illinois. 

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs 

The Small Business Innovation Research (or SBIR) program is a United States Government program, coordinated by the Small Business Administration, intended to help certain small businesses conduct research and development (R&D). Funding takes the form of contracts or grants. The recipient projects must have the potential for commercialization and must meet specific U.S. Government R&D needs. The SBIR program was created to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy. Through FY2009, over 112,500 awards have been made totaling more than $26.9 billion. Funds are obtained by allocating a certain percentage of the total extramural (R&D) budgets of the 11 federal agencies with extramural research budgets in excess of $100 million. Approximately $2.5 billion is awarded through this program each year. The STTR program was established as a pilot program by the Small Business Technology Transfer Act of 1992, and partners small businesses with partnering research institutions for innovation product development. Government agencies with R&D budgets of $1 billion or more are required to set aside a portion of these funds to finance STTR activity. The programs include three phases. Phase I, the startup phase, makes awards for approximately 6 months support for exploration of the technical merit or feasibility of an idea or technology. Phase II awards grants are funded for 2 years in order to facilitate expansion of Phase I results. Research and development work is performed and the developer evaluates the potential for commercialization. Phase III is intended to be the time when innovation moves from the laboratory into the marketplace. No additional SBIR set-aside funds may be awarded for Phase III. 

SBIR / STTR Technical Assistance Consultant Responsibilities 

The SBIR / STTR technical assistance program will include 1-3 consultants with expertise in the programs to deliver counseling to Illinois entrepreneurs. Consultants will be selected to fulfill all of the services below or a portion of the services that best aligns with their availability, expertise, geography, and cost effectiveness. EnterpriseWorks will facilitate the process of finding clients for assistance through a network on partnerships throughout Illinois. Clients will be referred to the consultants for assistance. Additionally, the program will provide training programs for Illinois universities and incubators seeking expertise and assistance. This is a free service to help Illinois entrepreneurs whom are potential awardees for SBIR and STTR funding through the EDA Illinois University Incubator Network. 

 Through this program the consultants will provide free guidance to Illinois entrepreneurs and small businesses from across the state who are interested in submitting proposals to participating agencies in response to agency solicitations. The consultants will encourage Illinois university faculty, staff, and student entrepreneurs to apply for federal grants based on their eligibility and fit for the program. 

  •   The SBIR / STTR Technical Assistance consultants will provide general guidance on the programs for interested entrepreneurs to help determine the feasibility and fit of the SBIR and STTR programs for a company. Assistance will be provided through group training workshops and also individual consultation with clients. 

  •   The SBIR / STTR Technical Assistance consultants will offer 6 training workshops a year at universities across the state of Illinois. These will be half day workshops on the fundamentals of the SBIR and STTR programs delivered onsite at the universities for free attendance for interested participants. Additionally in-depth assistance programs can be proposed for more advanced audiences. 

  •   The Technical Assistance consultants will assist small businesses in key aspects of applying for SBIR/STTR programs and provide up to 5 hours per month per small business client to address their application needs or provide assistance post awards with program execution details. These consulting services may include assistance with planning for an SBIR / STTR application preparation, searching for suitable solicitations, best practices for effective applications, assistance working with program managers for input, details of award budgets and review of proposals, recommendations for writing a commercialization plan and obtaining letters of support, and assistance executing an award agreement. Consultants may also leverage the expertise of the Entrepreneurs-in- Residence and other programming and staff resources to help provide additional guidance to clients. 

  •   The program is seeking one SBIR / STTR Technical Assistance consultant annually to attend the SBIR national conference(s) on behalf of Illinois Universities to seek relevant information for clients, partnerships for awardees, and summarize content to share with universities and SBIR clients. Summaries will be provided as individual updates to partner institutions and as a webinar program for statewide access.

SBIR / STTR Technical Assistance Consultant Competencies / Requirements

UIRP LLC and EnterpriseWorks Incubator are currently seeking proposals and qualifications from interested consultants to offer these services in Illinois. The following qualifications and backgrounds are ideal:

Expertise in the SBIR / STTR programs including grant writing experience, detailed knowledge of award budgets, commercialization plans, and executing award agreements.
Successful record of awarded SBIR / STTR proposals based on past consulting services, past successful experience with Illinois companies is desired. 

Experience teaching and speaking on SBIR / STTR topic areas.
Experience counseling small businesses and providing a strong mentoring rapport with clients.
Professional liability insurance is preferred.
Consultants will be working with small businesses based in Illinois, travel across Illinois is required for workshops. Consultants may be selected for a more limited scope of services if travel is not possible or financially reasonable.
Ability to have conference calls and/or Skype or web based meetings with small businesses is required. Availability to attend national SBIR and STTR conferences and provide reports back to Illinois Universities and small business. 

SBIR / STTR Technical Assistance Consultant Positions 

UIRP LLC and EnterpriseWorks Incubator are currently seeking SBIR / STTR consultants, this program may be filled with one or more consultants. Selection of qualified consultants is a competitive process. Proposals for the consulting roles should identify the areas of the program and expertise areas that can be fulfilled. Each consultant is expected to provide 10 – 20 hours a month of small business and entrepreneurship SBIR / STTR consulting and training workshops. Geographic considerations for availability in Illinois should be identified along with hourly consulting rates. Consultants should provide a resume or CV, in addition to a proposal with information regarding experiences with SBIR / STTR programs, and details of delivery of services anticipated for this program. Applicants are able to apply for all or some of areas of this program. The technical assistance program is supported by two five year grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration. Proposals may include multi-year delivery plans, but all consulting awards will be awarded and renewed annually. Successful consultants in the program will not need to reapply with qualifications annually, but will need to confirm program parameters and cost proposals annually.

Small business and entrepreneur SBIR / STTR consulting 10 – 15 hours a month in areas of Illinois. Please identify the regions of Illinois you are able to provide consulting in person or a plan for remote delivery of consulting services. Please provide an hourly consulting rate for SBIR / STTR technical assistance. Please detail proposed travel reimbursement if needed. 

Creating and presenting 6 SBIR / STTR workshops at Universities across the state of Illinois. Please provide an hourly consulting rate for SBIR / STTR technical assistance. Copies and materials can be provided through the program. 

Attend SBIR / STTR national conferences representing Universities across Illinois. Please detail proposed travel reimbursement and plan for communication of highlights from the event to Illinois university partners. 

All interested candidates should email a proposal, cover letter, and resume to Marissa Siero at . Questions can be addressed by calling 217-300-2216 or email. All Proposals should be submitted for consideration by August 7, 2017