WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio - Businesses rise and fall depending on whether they demonstrate discipline in commercializing their technologies. Bringing sophisticated, technology-based products to market is not a purely intuitive process; developing and fine-tuning the capability to deliver a product to a customer is essential if a business is to survive and thrive.
Beginning in October, a joint program between the Air Force, the Wright Brothers Institute and The Entrepreneurs Center will provide 30 to 40 small business recipients with a customized support program designed to accelerate the commercialization of technologies into new market spaces. Participants will use proven visual tools and business models to clearly identify the business value inside science or technology innovation. Each participant will develop actionable and specific commercialization plans, aligned with the existing support services and organizations, so that commercialization assistance will continue after the program ends.
“The success of a research program, and of a small business, is important to the Air Force,” says David Shahady, the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer program director. “To support small businesses in the important effort of commercializing Air Force-funded research and development, the Air Force SBIR/STTR Program offers the Air Force SBIR Technology Acceleration Program, which is provided without cost to selected participants.”
According to Shahady, the SBIR TAP assists businesses in assessing the commercial viability of their technology, creating actionable commercialization plans, and preparing them to seek investment capital. The experiences, tools and skillsets they develop are valuable well beyond the duration of the program.
This year, the SBIR TAP sought participants having technologies within key commercial market areas including: advanced manufacturing; data warehousing, management and analytics; cyber security; energy storage and generation; environmental monitoring; health care; human performance enhancement; internet of things; personalized learning; precision agriculture; and automated transportation.
The SBIR TAP will consist of two consecutive phases culminating in program conclusion in May of 2018. The first phase is course delivery, the training component of the program, which is delivered over four consecutive weeks in three locations, including Washington, DC, Dayton, Ohio, and Denver, Colorado. To support participation all selected participants are eligible for a $2,000 stipend to offset travel costs.
The second phase of the program is opportunity discovery. This phase takes place from November 2017 until May 2018. During this phase, participants will regularly consult with experienced entrepreneurs and subject matter experts to develop actionable plans including technology value propositions, one page opportunity summaries, and “pitch decks” to be used in seeking external sources of capital. During this period, consulting is conducted via secure voice and technology workspaces.
“How technology comes into being and transitions to commercial and defense markets will determine the course of a small businesses future. We also recognize that small business success is essential to maintaining a mission ready, responsive and revolutionary Air Force. Because we want unrivaled technology capability, we’re stepping in to shepherd and guide the technology acceleration process.”
For more information about the SBIR TAP program, visit http://tec-tap.com/sbir-tap or http://www.afsbirsttr.com.