The 18.2 round of SBIR includes a new Air Force pilot program called “Special Topics”. Unlike traditional Phase I topics, which allow $150,000 budgets over 6 months, these special topics are faster and have a smaller budget, $50,000 over 2 months. Unlike the traditional 20-page technical volume, these require only a 5-page proposal, but also require a 15-slide pitch deck.
This new program is exciting — the faster speed could be more friendly to businesses that wouldn’t traditionally contract with the government, and the shorter proposal and pitch deck format may be more familiar and comfortable for small/startup businesses. What is not yet clear is how challenges (and time investment) associated with contracting and award management may get streamlined under this program.
Either way, the topics are VERY OFRN-relevant! Note 005, which is an open call for dual-purpose technologies (DoD is increasingly interested in repurposing non-defense technologies as a way to reduce development costs and risks).
18.2 Air Force Special Topics
– Commercial Solutions for Weather Forecasting
– Innovative Position Navigation and Timing
– Future Counter UAS Technology Options
– Future Logistics and Supply Chain Options
– Open Call for Innovative Defense-Related Dual-Purpose Technologies/Solutions
– Human-Machine Teaming in Data Processing, Exploitation, and Dissemination — a Technology Accelerator