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SBA RIN: 3245-AG64 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Small Business Innovation Research Program and Small Business Technology Transfer Program Policy Directive 

SBA reviews its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program policy directives regularly to determine areas that need updating and further clarification. On November 7, 2014, SBA issued an advance notice of policy directive amendments and request for comments at 77 FR 66342. SBA explained that it intended to update the directives on a regular basis and to restructure and reorganize the directives, as well as address certain policy issues relating to SBIR and STTR data rights and Phase III work. In this ANPRM, SBA outlined what it believed were the issues concerning data rights and Phase III awards and requested feedback on several questions posed. The comments SBA received were generally in agreement that the sections of the directives relating to data rights and Phase III awards need further clarification. 

On April 7, 2016, SBA issued a notice of policy directive amendments with a request for comments at 81 FR 20484. In this NPRM, SBA proposed clarification of the issues relating to both programs concerning data rights, Phase III awards, and miscellaneous issues such as benchmarks to commercialization achievement and the calculation of extramural budget. SBA also proposed combining both the SBIR and STTR policy directives into one because the general structure of both programs is the same.  

Agency: Small Business Administration(SBA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 13 CFR ch 1     (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 15 U.S.C. 638(p)    Pub. L. 112-81, sec. 5001, et seq.   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

It is necessary to update the data rights, Phase III preference, benchmark sections, and clarify how agencies calculate extramural budget due to numerous inquiries and requests for clarification received from SBIR and STTR Program Managers and small businesses regarding these issues.  Requests for clarification indicate that there is confusion among participating agencies and small business concerns regarding these policy issues. It is necessary to combine the Policy Directives to increase ease of use and to reduce duplicity, as much of the language in the current Directives is identical for both programs. The clarifications and consolidation will provide clearer guidance and uniformity of these sections of the Policy Directive, and are necessary to enhance the efficient implementation of the programs.  

Summary of the Legal Basis:

Section 9(j) and (p) of the Small Business Act, codified at 15 U.S.C. 638(j) & (p) requires SBA to issue directives to the SBIR/STTR participating agencies to simplify and standardize program proposals, selections, contracting, compliance, and audit procedures, while allowing the participating agencies flexibility in the operation of their individual programs. 


If SBA does not amend the Policy Directives, the participating agencies and small business concerns will continue to need additional guidance and clarification regarding the implementation of data rights, Phase III awards, and the commercialization benchmarks. 

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

The consolidation and revision of the SBIR/STTR Policy Directive is essential to the efficient implementation of the respective programs. There may be some costs associated with the consolidation and revision of the Policy Directives, such as updating current resource materials to reflect the clarifications and consolidation to one document; however, SBA anticipates such costs are not burdensome.


None identified.

Action Date FR Cite
ANPRM  11/07/2014  79 FR 66342   
ANPRM Comment Period End  01/06/2015 
NPRM  04/07/2016  81 FR 20484   
NPRM Comment Period Extended  05/31/2016  81 FR 34426   
NPRM Comment Period End  06/06/2016 
Second NPRM Comment Period End  07/06/2016 
Final Rule  01/00/2017 
Additional Information: Included in SBA's Retrospective Review under Executive Orders 13563 and 13610.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Edsel M. Brown Jr.
Assistant Director, Office of Innovation
Small Business Administration
409 Third Street SW,
Washington, DC 20416
Phone:202 205-7343