SBIR Policy Directive Updated Jan 8, 2014
Unofficial Presentation by SBIR Insider -
8. Terms of Agreement Under SBIR Awards
[Original 8/6/12]
** Jan 8, 2014 Amendments in Blue **

8. Terms of Agreement Under SBIR Awards

View Changes(a) Proprietary Information Contained in Proposals. The standardized SBIR Program solicitation will include provisions requiring the confidential treatment of any proprietary information to the extent permitted by law. The solicitation will require that all proprietary information be identified clearly and marked with a prescribed legend. Agencies may elect to require SBCs to limit proprietary information to that essential to the proposal and to have such information submitted on a separate page or pages keyed to the text. The Government, except for proposal review purposes, protects all proprietary information, regardless of type, submitted in a contract proposal or grant application for a funding agreement under the SBIR Program, from disclosure.

(b) Rights in Data Developed Under SBIR Funding Agreement. The Act provides for ``retention by an SBC of the rights to data generated by the concern in the performance of an SBIR award.''

(1) Each agency must refrain from disclosing SBIR technical data to outside the Government (except reviewers) and especially to competitors of the SBC, or from using the information to produce future technical procurement specifications that could harm the SBC that discovered and developed the innovation.

(2) SBIR agencies must protect from disclosure and non-governmental use all SBIR technical data developed from work performed under an SBIR funding agreement for a period of not less than four years from delivery of the last deliverable under that agreement (either Phase I, Phase II, or Federally-funded SBIR Phase III) unless, subject to paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the agency obtains permission to disclose such SBIR technical data from the awardee or SBIR applicant. Agencies are released from obligation to protect SBIR data upon expiration of the protection period except that any such data that is also protected and referenced under a subsequent SBIR award must remain protected through the protection period of that subsequent SBIR award. For example, if a Phase III award is issued within or after the Phase II data rights protection period and the Phase III award refers to and protects data developed and protected under the Phase II award, then that data must continue to be protected through the Phase III protection period. Agencies have discretion to adopt a protection period longer than four years. The Government retains a royalty-free license for Government use of any technical data delivered under an SBIR award, whether patented or not. This section does not apply to program evaluation.

(3) SBIR technical data rights apply to all SBIR awards, including subcontracts to such awards, that fall within the statutory definition of Phase I, II, or III of the SBIR Program, as described in section 4 of this Policy Directive. The scope and extent of the SBIR technical data rights applicable to Federally-funded Phase III awards is identical to the SBIR data rights applicable to Phases I and II SBIR awards. The data rights protection period lapses only:

(i) Upon expiration of the protection period applicable to the SBIR award; or

(ii) By agreement between the awardee and the agency.

(4) Agencies must insert the provisions of (b)(1), (2), and (3) immediately above as SBIR data rights clauses into all SBIR Phase I, Phase II, and Phase III awards. These data rights clauses are non- negotiable and must not be the subject of negotiations pertaining to an SBIR Phase III award, or diminished or removed during award administration. An agency must not, in any way, make issuance of an SBIR Phase III award conditional on data rights. If the SBIR awardee wishes to transfer its SBIR data rights to the awarding agency or to a third party, it must do so in writing under a separate agreement. A decision by the awardee to relinquish, transfer, or modify in any way its SBIR data rights must be made without pressure or coercion by the agency or any other party. Following issuance of an SBIR Phase III award, the awardee may enter into an agreement with the awarding agency to transfer or modify the data rights contained in that SBIR Phase III award. Such a bilateral data rights agreement must be entered into only after the SBIR Phase III award, which includes the appropriate SBIR data rights clause, has been signed. SBA will report to the Congress any attempt or action by an agency to condition an SBIR award on data rights, to exclude the appropriate data rights clause from the award, or to diminish such rights.

(c) Title Transfer of Agency-Provided Property. Under the Act, the Government may transfer title to property provided by the SBIR agency to the awardee or acquired by the awardee for the purpose of fulfilling the contract where such transfer would be more cost effective than recovery of the property.

View Changes(d) Continued Use of Government Equipment. Agencies must allow an SBIR awardee participating in the third phase of the SBIR Program continued use, as a directed bailment, of any property transferred by the agency to the Phase II awardee or acquired by the awardee for the purpose of fulfilling the contract. The Phase II awardee may use the property for a period of not less than 2 years, beginning on the initial date of the concern's participation in the third phase of the SBIR Program.

(e) Grant Authority. The Act does not, in and of itself, convey grant authority. Each agency must secure grant authority in accordance with its normal procedures.

(f) Conflicts of Interest. SBA cautions SBIR agencies that awards made to SBCs owned by or employing current or previous Federal Government employees may create conflicts of interest in violation of FAR Part 3 and the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended. Each SBIR agency should refer to the standards of conduct review procedures currently in effect for its agency to ensure that such conflicts of interest do not arise.

(g) American-Made Equipment and Products. Congress intends that the awardee of a funding agreement under the SBIR Program should, when purchasing any equipment or a product with funds provided through the funding agreement, purchase only American-made equipment and products, to the extent possible, in keeping with the overall purposes of this program. Each SBIR agency must provide to each awardee a notice of this requirement.

(h) Certifications After Award and During Funding Agreement Lifecycle.

(1) A Phase I funding agreement must state that the awardee shall submit a new certification as to whether it is in compliance with specific SBIR Program requirements at the time of final payment or disbursement. (2) A Phase II funding agreement must state that the awardee shall submit a new certification as to whether it is in compliance with specific SBIR Program requirements prior to receiving more than 50% of the total award amount and prior to final payment or disbursement. (3) Agencies may also require additional certifications at other points in time during the life cycle of the funding agreement, such as at the time of each payment or disbursement.
(i) Updating Agencies must require each Phase II awardee to update the appropriate information on the award in the Commercialization Database upon completion of the last deliverable under the funding agreement. In addition, the awardee is requested to voluntarily update the appropriate information on that award in the database annually thereafter for a minimum period of 5 years.

unofficial copy annotated by Zyn Systems