Archive for August, 2012
Just Announced: SIMB is pleased to welcome Dr. Ruth Shuman, National Science Foundation Program Director for the Biology and Chemical Technologies (BC) Cluster in the SBIR/STTR Program. Dr. Shuman will attend the meeting on Wednesday, August 15 and will meet with attendees interested in finding out more about the SBIR/STTR Program and funding opportunities.
Appointments will be scheduled for ten minutes each, beginning at 9:00 am on Wednesday, August 15. Attendees are encouraged to sign up at the SIMB registration desk as soon as possible as time slots are limited.
An excellent meeting has been planned for SIMB’s 62nd Annual Meeting. Register today.
About Dr. Ruth Shuman
Ruth Shuman joined the National Science Foundation in August 2009. She is currently serving as Program Director for the Biology and Chemical Technologies (BC) Cluster in the SBIR/STTR Program, and was recently named Cluster Leader. Formerly, she was the founder, president, and CEO of a successful venture-backed life science company, Gentra Systems, Inc., that developed, manufactured, and sold products for genetic testing and research to clinical and research laboratories worldwide. Following Gentra’s acquisition, she held various consulting/advisory positions with start-up companies, and was CEO-In-Residence for Life Science with the University of Minnesota’s Venture Center evaluating the business potential of University-developed technology. Ruth began her career as a faculty member at North Carolina State University, and was a pioneer in the development of gene transfer and genetic engineering technology. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in the area of Genetics and Cell Biology.
About the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) And Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program
NSF’s SBIR and STTR programs play a key role in supporting small businesses to move inventions from ideas to commercialization. This funding may be viewed as a ‘pre-seed’ investment in the commercialization spectrum. By providing grant money, the program provides equity-free financial support to small businesses with innovative ideas. NSF’s program differs from those of other agencies as its mentoring and bridge-building efforts specifically encourage development of entrepreneurial skills, such as business development and raising capital, so necessary to achieve commercialization of the technology.
Objectives and Funding Criteria of the SBIR/STTR Program
The main objectives of the SBIR/STTR Program are to stimulate technological innovation and increase private sector commercialization of new technologies. The innovation must be high-risk while demonstrating high-payback and commercial potential. NSF does not fund incremental optimization of existing products or processes or modification to broaden the scope of a product. In addition, NSF favors companies that demonstrate strategic partnerships with research collaborators, commercial partners, customers, and equity investors.
Current Funding Opportunities:
STTR is a competitive program that provides funding for small business and nonprofit research institution partners. The goal of the STTR program is to facilitate the transfer of the technology from the laboratory to the marketplace by combining the strengths of small business and research institutions.
The next STTR Topic is entitled Enhancing the Bioeconomy using emerging Biological Technologies (EBBT). Proposals submitted to this solicitation must utilize emerging biologically-based technologies such as synthetic biology, systems biology, metabolic engineering, proteomics, bioinformatics, and computational biology. Proposals must address one of the following subtopics: biomedical applications, sustainable agriculture applications, biosensing applications, biomanufacturing applications, and advanced life science tools.
SBIR is a competitive program that provides funding to small businesses to conduct early-stage research of a technology that will lead to the development of a product, process, or service. NSF has formulated broad solicitation topics for SBIR. The Biological and Chemical Technologies (BC) topic area includes subtopics in Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering, Fermentation and Cell Culture Technologies, and Computational Biology and Bioinformatics.
I-Corps is a new program to broaden the impact of NSF-funded, basic-research projects by preparing scientists and engineers to focus beyond the laboratory. It provides funding for entrepreneurial/commercial training of academic researchers that have received NSF funding and have an interest in commercializing their technology.