SBIR Policy Directive 2012
5. Program Solicitation Process
[Updated 8/6/12]

5. Program Solicitation Process

(a) At least annually, each agency must issue a program solicitation that sets forth a substantial number of R/R&D topics and subtopic areas consistent with stated agency needs or missions. Agencies may decide to issue joint solicitations. Both the list of topics and the description of the topics and subtopics must be sufficiently comprehensive to provide a wide range of opportunities for SBCs to participate in the agency R&D programs. Topics and subtopics must emphasize the need for proposals with advanced concepts to meet specific agency R/R&D needs. Each topic and subtopic must describe the needs in sufficient detail to assist in providing on-target responses, but cannot involve detailed specifications to prescribed solutions of the problems.

(b) The Act requires issuance of SBIR Phase I Program solicitations in accordance with a Master Schedule coordinated between SBA and the SBIR agency. The SBA office responsible for coordination is: Office of Technology, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 Third Street SW., Washington, DC 20416. Phone: (202) 205-6450. Fax: (202) 205-7754. Email: [email protected]. Internet site:

(c) For maximum participation by interested SBCs, it is important that the planning, scheduling and coordination of agency program solicitation release dates be completed as early as practicable to coincide with the commencement of the fiscal year on October 1. Bunching of agency program solicitation release and closing dates may prohibit SBCs from preparation and timely submission of proposals for more than one SBIR project. SBA's coordination of agency schedules minimizes the bunching of proposed release and closing dates. SBIR agencies may elect to publish multiple program solicitations within a given fiscal year to facilitate in-house agency proposal review and evaluation scheduling.

(d) SBA posts an electronic Master Schedule of release dates of program solicitations with links to Internet Web sites of agency solicitations. For more information see section 10(g).

(e) Simplified, Standardized, and Timely SBIR Program Solicitations

(1) The Act requires ``simplified, standardized and timely SBIR solicitations'' and for SBIR agencies to use a ``uniform process'' minimizing the regulatory burden for SBCs. Therefore, the instructions in Appendix I to this Policy Directive purposely depart from normal Government solicitation format and requirements.

(2) Agencies must provide SBA's Office of Technology with an email version of each solicitation and any modifications no later than the 5 days after the date of release of the solicitation or modification to the public. Agencies that issue program solicitations in electronic format only must provide the Internet site at which the program solicitation may be accessed no later than the date of posting at that site of the program solicitation.

(3) SBA does not intend that the SBIR Program solicitation replace or be used as a substitute for unsolicited proposals for R/R&D awards to SBCs. In addition, the SBIR Program solicitation procedures do not prohibit other agency R/R&D actions with SBCs that are carried on in accordance with applicable statutory or regulatory authorizations.

unofficial copy annotated by Zyn Systems