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TABA & SBIR/STTR Success Stories

Technical and Business Assistance

Technical and Business Assistance (TABA) is a specialized service designed to enhance the commercial potential of technologies developed through the SBIR and STTR programs. TABA addresses a critical gap in many technology ventures: transitioning from an innovative concept to a market-ready product. It provides funding support to cover costs associated with expert advice and services in market validation, intellectual property protection, and commercialization strategy.

 

Why TABA? 

TABA plays a pivotal role by enabling small businesses to navigate the complex pathways of technology development and commercial exploitation. TABA funds can be used to hire external consultants with specific expertise in technology scaling, market exploration, and business planning, which are crucial for transforming scientific and technical innovations into viable business opportunities.

 

The following TABA funding quantities are permissible by law:

- Phase I – Up to $6,500: In addition to the award amount, each Phase I award is eligible for up to $6,500 in SBIR/STTR funds.

- Phase II - Up to $50,000: Agencies are permitted to allocate up to $50,000 of SBIR/STTR funds per project for Phase II awards.

 

Unlike the Phase I amounts, agencies have the discretion to determine whether the funding provided for TABA support for Phase II awards will be included as part of the recipient's award or be in addition to it. The solicitation notices of agencies should provide a detailed account of their approach to this decision.

SBIR/STTR Success Stories

One of the early beneficiaries of the SBIR program was Qualcomm, which received funding to develop satellite communication technologies. This foundational support helped Qualcomm innovate during its early stages, eventually becoming a leader in the telecommunications and semiconductor industries, particularly known for its advancements in wireless technologies. 23andMe, a personal genetics company that offers DNA testing services directly to consumers, was partly funded by an NIH SBIR grant. The company has grown significantly and is recognized for making genetic testing accessible to the public, allowing individuals to explore their ancestry and health-related genetic markers. The Roomba, an autonomous robotic vacuum cleaner, was developed by iRobot with support from an SBIR grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The Roomba debuted in 2002, revolutionizing home cleaning by automating the process with a compact, intelligent device that navigates around furniture and obstacles, automatically adjusting to different floor types.

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