• News Release: 1/27/2021 NCI webinar highlights new small-business funding

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    January 27, 2021
    The National Cancer Institute is eager to support and collaborate with innovative scientists and small companies and has two relatively new programs in place to support them, according to NCI representatives presenting during a Jan. 26 webinar hosted by BIO.

    Director Michael Weingarten and Program Director Nancy Kamei of the NCI’s SBIR Development Center shared information about the NCI’s efforts to partner with small businesses through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs in their presentation, “NCI SBIR: Funding and Commercialization Resources for Cancer Technologies.”
    SBIR Development Center is dedicated to managing the SBIR and STTR program and awards, providing central oversight, guidance, outreach, funding, networking and training to NCI grant recipients. The grants supply seed funding that’s not a loan, and the business retains intellectual-property rights and equity, Weingarten said. He encouraged attendees to apply for SBIR grants and emphasized that the SBIT Development Center was ready to engage with applicants to help them be successful. 
    Weingarten and Kamei highlighted two new NCI programs during the webinar. 
    NCI SBIR Small Business Transition GrantThe Small Business Transition Grant is designed to help postdoctoral research make the transition from academia to a small business. The grant is structured over two phases. Phase I is funded by an STTR award, which requires the postdoc to continue to collaborate with a university. In Phase II, funding is provided a SBIR grant, and university collaboration is now optional. Phase I provides $400,000 over 12 months, and Phase II provides $2 million over 24 months. 
    NCI SBIR Concept AwardThe Small Business Concept Award funds disruptive innovation. It is a contract, not grant, and supports high risk, high reward initiatives that focus on pediatric and rare cancers. The idea must be transformative and novel, and only small businesses are eligible. The application process is streamlined with no preliminary data required. The award provides $300,000 for one year. Proposals are due July 23.
    Weingarten stressed that potential applicants would be wise to contact the NCI SBIR Development Center before submitting applications, because the center was eager to provide advice to increase the applicant’s chances of success. He suggested that those interested send their “Specific Aims” page to ncisbir@mail.nih.gov to set up a call with one of their program directors.
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