Did you know that the NCATS Small Business Programs are some of the largest sources of early business financing in the country? The funding does not have to be paid back and does not affect the equity of your company. Review the eligibility guidelines and the current SBIR & STTR research priorities, and take a look at these key items NCATS presented in a recent informational webinar:

1. The funding is multi-purposed:
it can fund a ‘Discovery Phase’, efforts to demonstrate your project ‘has legs’, or the ‘Development Phase’ as you work to scale up your project for the marketplace.   

Do Your Homework. Study up on previously funded applications here. The most common application problems include:

  • submitting a project that yields an unconvincing case for commercial potential or societal impact
  • submitting a proposal with a lack of innovation
  • including an unrealistically large amount of work proposed
  • failing to consider potential pitfalls and alternatives
  • including an inadequately defined test of feasibility, and/or
  • questionable reasoning in your experimental approach.

3. Make direct contact with NCATS about your idea.
Lili Portilla, MPA, Director of Strategic Alliances for NCATS, encourages interested applicants to reach out directly about their ideas, sharing that if you aren’t ready for this application her team will let you know. This may also help you navigate other program opportunities.

4. Recipient diversity is a priority.
NCATS actively searches for ways to get this funding in front of women and minority-owned businesses to encourage applications. Additionally, you do not have to possess a medical or post-doctoral degree to apply; you simply have to show that you have assembled the right team to prepare your specific aims.

5. Get started and submit early.
Applications can take up to three months. Avoid that last-minute submission stress!

Interesting in learning more? Be sure to review the SBIR-STTR Fact Sheet and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to learn how the CCTS might support your submission.