Proposed STTR Policy Directive 2003
Section by Section Analysis
Section 9 - Responsibilities of STTR Participating Agencies and Departments
Section 9 of the proposed Policy Directive outlines the responsibilities of SBIR Participating Agencies and Departments. In section 9(a)(5), SBA proposes that agencies must collect and maintain information from awardees and provide it to SBA so that SBA may develop and maintain the Technology Resources Network (Tech-Net) Database, which is described in detail in section 11(e) of this proposed Policy Directive. The Tech-Net Database is a requirement of the Reauthorization Act.
In section 9(a)(11), SBA also proposes that agencies must report those instances where a follow-on award with non-STTR funds was issued to a concern other than the STTR awardee that developed the technology to be pursued under the follow-on award. The statute and legislative history evidence that the intent of the program is to help small businesses grow through commercialization in Phase III. Therefore, when agencies make follow-on awards to a concern other than the one that received the Phase I and II award, this should be reported to Congress.
The Reauthorization Act amended the STTR Program to require that agencies adopt the model agreement developed by SBA for allocating intellectual property between STTR awardees and research institutions to carry out follow-on research, development or commercialization. SBA proposes this requirement in the Policy Directive at section 9(a)(13).
The Small Business Act requires that agencies develop, in consultation with the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and the Office of Government Ethics, procedures to ensure that Federally-funded research and development centers that participate in STTR agreements are free from organizational conflicts of interests relative to the STTR Program; do not use privileged information gained through work performed for an STTR agency or private access to STTR agency personnel in the development of an STTR proposal; and use outside peer review as appropriate. SBA proposes these requirements in the proposed Policy Directive at section 9(a)(14).
The Reauthorization Act amended the STTR Program to require agencies to implement an outreach program to research institutions and SBCs in conjunction with any such outreach done for purposes of the SBIR Program to increase participation in and enhance the STTR Program. SBA has set forth this requirement in the proposed Policy Directive at section 9(a)(15).
In section 9(c)(2), SBA proposes to preclude agencies from allowing the funding agreement to include a provision subcontracting any portion of the STTR award back to the issuing agency or to any other Federal governmental unit. This mirrors a similar provision for the SBIR program that has been in effect since 1997. SBA believes that this restriction is necessary to avoid real and apparent conflicts of interest in STTR proposal evaluation and selection. SBA notes that this proposal will not restrict the use of Federal laboratory facilities by STTR awardees for STTR project work. It may only prohibit the use of STTR award funds to pay for Federal laboratory resources. In addition, SBA proposes a case-by-case waiver to this provision.