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AF to release small business research solicitations

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) -- The Air Force Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program office is set to release its fiscal year 2015 list of topics Oct. 22, on the SBIR/STTR website.

Small businesses and research institutions with expertise to address the topics' technology challenges are encouraged to submit proposals.

During 2014, the Defense Department SBIR 2015.1 and STTR 2015.A solicitations for topics will run concurrently. The DOD pre-release is scheduled for Dec. 12, for both solicitations, which formally open Jan. 15, 2015, and close Feb. 18.

"We welcome the opportunity to work with small businesses and research institutions and expect the concurrent solicitation schedules and increased Air Force pre-release period will have a positive impact on the quality of proposals we receive from seasoned and new partners from around the country," said David Sikora, the Air Force SBIR/STTR program manager.

During the pre-release period, small businesses will have an opportunity to contact topic authors directly to ask technical questions. However, those questions are limited to information related to improving the understanding of a particular topic's requirements.

Following this pre-release period, when the solicitation is officially opened, direct questions to the topic authors are no longer allowed. Instead, technical questions may only be submitted anonymously through the SBIR Interactive Topic Information System, where the answers will be published for all participating small businesses to read.

All proposals for the solicitations must be written and submitted according to the DOD guidelines and solicitation letters published on the SBIR resource page.

Providing more than $300 million annually in funding for research and development activities by small businesses, the Air Force's SBIR/STTR programs fund research from the early stages of concept development until it transitions to military or commercial use. The Air Force SBIR and STTR programs are mission-oriented programs that integrate the needs and requirements of the Air Force through research and development topics that have military and commercial potential. The SBIR program was established by Congress in 1982 to fund research and development (R&D) through small businesses of 500 or fewer employees. The STTR program was established in 1992 to fund cooperative R&D projects with small businesses and nonprofit U.S. research institutions, such as universities.

For more information about the programs, including commercialization readiness assistance for existing contracts, click here.

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