AFVentures, in collaboration with the Department of the Air Force (DAF) SBIR/STTR Program, has recently launched a transition-focused funding opportunity for Air and Space Force SBIR/STTR companies. The intent of the program is to scale technology development over the “valley of death” by capitalizing current SBIR/STTR Phase II efforts to turn prototypes into Air and Space Force Programs. Through the Supplemental Funding Pilot Program, AFWERX – the parent organization of both AFVentures and DAF SBIR/STTR - will facilitate delivery of strategic capabilities for the Department of the Air Force.
The Supplemental Funding Pilot Program (SFPP) includes two initiatives – TACFI and STRATFI. The TACFI, or Tactical Funding Increase, program is focused on transitioning smaller-scale, tactical capabilities at the operational level. The STRATFI, or Strategic Funding Increase, program is focused on large-scale, strategic capabilities at the DAF level. With both options available to DAF SBIR/STTR Phase II companies, SFPP is able to scale innovation support across technology sectors and mission needs.
The success of SFPP relies on direct interaction between mission owners, acquisition organizations, private investors, and technology producing companies to collaborate on national security technologies. We call this “government syndication”, i.e., a government-led co-investment model of technology development. It is operationalized through matched investment – all SFPP companies require investments from at least two sources of capital, with DAF SBIR/STTR being one. The other can come from Private and/or Government Sources.
The ratio of required matched investment depends on the sub-program. Through TACFI, small businesses can receive from $375,000 to $1.7 million in SBIR/STTR funds over a two-year period. For every dollar of SBIR/STTR funds, companies must also receive at least $1 of other government funding (i.e., non-SBIR/STTR) OR $1 of private funding. STRATFI offers small businesses between $3 million and $15 million in SBIR funds over four-year period. Given the larger dollar size and strategic nature of the program, the matching requirements are more robust. For every $1 of SBIR/STTR funds, companies must also receive $2 of other government funds OR $1 of other government funds and $2 of private funds.
Eligibility relies on several criteria. This includes either having an active DAF SBIR/STTR project in Phase II or must have completed one within the last three years. The subject also must not already have been awarded a Sequential Phase II contract and must meet minimum matching investment requirements.
Download the Supplemental Funding Pilot Program PDF here.