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Phase I SBIR/STTR Indirect Cost Waiver Guidelines

The KU Office of Research will waive indirect costs on certain small business collaborations to encourage KU investigator participation in the U.S. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Through this program, KU Research/KU Center for Research, Inc. will waive facilities and administrative (F&A) cost on KU subaward proposals with small businesses applying for either SBIR or STTR Phase I funding that utilizes:

  • KU IP licensed to or utilized by the company or
  • IP owned by others, licensed to the company, for which one or more KU employees are creators.

Additionally, subject to approval by the Vice Chancellor for Research, the waiver will be applied to SBIR/STTR Phase I proposals where current KU employees have significant involvement as founders and/or hold a major fraction of ownership interest in the company, and the company is clearly related to current research at KU and/or the company is affiliated with the Bioscience & Technology Business Center (BTBC).

SBIR

The SBIR program is a federally‐funded competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Research and Development (R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. The objective of SBIR Phase I awards is to establish the technical/scientific merit and feasibility of a proposed research or research & development activity. It also encourages – but does not require – collaboration between small business and nonprofit research institutions. In this collaboration, the SBIR award is made to the small business who may then issue a subaward to the research institution to perform up to 33 percent of the overall Phase I research and development work.  

The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. SBIR Phase I awards normally do not exceed $150,000 total costs for 6 months. 

STTR

The STTR program is a competitive research funding program aimed at stimulating technological innovation, fostering technology transfer, and increasing private sector commercialization of technologies arising from federal funding. The central focus of this program is bridging the gap between basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations, and expand public/private sector partnership to include joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. The requirement stipulates that the small business must perform at least 40 percent of the work and the research institution must perform at least 30 percent. 

The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small businesses prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. STTR Phase I awards normally do not exceed $150,000 total costs for 1 year. 

General information about both of these programs and the Federal agencies participating in them may be found on the SBIR/STTR website.

KU Guidelines

The following guidelines are applicable to this program: 

  • Waivers are only for subaward proposals for either SBIR or STTR Phase I funding, where the small business is utilizing
    • KU IP licensed to or utilized by the company;
    • IP owned by others, licensed to the company, for which one or more KU employees are creators;
    • Where current KU employees have significant involvement as founders and/or hold a major fraction of ownership interest in the company, and the company is clearly related to current research at KU (subject to approval by the Vice Chancellor for Research); or
    • The company is affiliated with the Bioscience & Technology Business Center (BTBC) (subject to approval by the Vice Chancellor for Research).
  • All standard proposal preparation and review requirements are applicable.
    • Pre‐Award, or your chosen Research Center, will prepare the subaward proposal and include no indirect costs in the budget.
    • All funds to support the SBIR/STTR work for KU investigators and affiliated staff must be included in the subaward proposal budget and approved through the Office of Research in the proposal process.

Resources

  • Guidance from the KU Center for Technology Commercialization
  • Guidance on Conflict of Interest