SBIR/Grant Requests (cont)

duewestseaurchinAI and Robotics

Nov 14, 2013 (5 years and 2 months ago)


CS 411W


SBIR and Grant Proposal Writing

SBIR/Grant Requests


To obtain Research and Development
funding to transition from a concept to product
(the alternative is to finance it yourself…)

SBIR Advantage:

Small Business retains rights to
technical data for a period of 4 years

gives small business opportunity to market the product

prevents other/larger organizations from taking unfair

SBIR/Grant Requests (cont)

Federal Grants:

A Federal Grant is an award of
financial assistance from a Federal agency to a
recipient to carry out a public purpose of support
or stimulation authorized by a law of the United

Grants are not Federal assistance or loans to

A grant is not used to acquire property or services for
the Federal government's direct benefit.

SBIR/Grant Requests (cont)

Federal Grants


Many groups of
organizations are eligible to apply for government

Government Organizations

Education Organizations

Public Housing Organizations

Profit Organizations

Small Businesses


SBIR/Grant Requests

Writing Proposals

What is a proposal?
A business proposal is an
offering from a seller to a prospective buyer

The written proposal is the vehicle that carries the terms
of an agreement between buyer and seller and forms the
basis for a subsequent business contract.

Proposals can range in size from a one page letter, or
price list, to several hundred pages of detailed

If the proposed offer is accepted by the buyer, it
creates a legally binding document for both parties,
buyer and seller.

Writing Proposals


Proposal Process:

The proposal provides a formal
way for both sides to communicate in writing
during these negotiations.

Prospective buyers sometimes issue a Request for
Proposals (RFP), or an Invitation for Bids (IFB), to
provide specific information about what products or
services they want

RFP/IFB will include specifications of the customer's

The RFP/IFB will typically be issued to solicit
responses from several offers to establish a competitive
bidding environment

A proposal is written in response to the RFP/IFB

Writing Proposals


Proposal Objectives:

The major objectives in
writing proposal are:

To describe how the customer requirements will be met

To establish the price and payment terms for the
proposed effort, goods, or services

To define the terms and conditions that will apply to
both parties during if the proposal is accepted

Writing Proposals


Components of a Proposal:

The basic
components of the business proposal

Technical Proposal





Writing Proposals

Components (cont)

Technical Proposal:
Conveys the sellers understanding of the
customer’s requirements and technical details of the offer:

Provides a detailed description of the technical approach to
meeting the requirements

Identifies the seller’s key discriminators to convince the customer
to select the proposal. Discriminators may include:

Technical qualifications

Development or production process

Management approach

Risks and how they will be addressed

Program plan outline/schedule and milestones

Writing Proposals

Components (cont)

Cost Proposal:
Provides a price breakdown for major aspects of
the offer which may include:

recurring Costs

those costs associated with
producing a “first article”

Recurring Costs

the cost of producing/delivering
additional product

Labor costs

expressed in one or more combinations
terms of cost/man hour, total man hours, total labor
costs, etc.

Material Costs

parts, assemblies, supplies required
to produce the product

Other Costs

travel, license fees, consultants, etc.

Contractual Terms and Conditions of the offer

Additional Proposal Objectives

To educate the prospective customer about the
full nature of his need

Often, a prospective customer may be aware of only a
portion of his need

the proposal may describe a more
complete and valid solution/approach

Provides a detailed cost assessment as basis for
comparison of the overall approach to cost from
multiple (competing) offers

Proposal Preparation Checklist

Key considerations for developing a successful

Does your proposal address the underlying purpose of the customer’s

Is there any danger that the customer could misunderstand your approach
to provide him with a solution? Have you clearly presented your

Is the work you intend to perform covered in sufficient detail?

Have you expressed compelling enough reasons why you should be
selected to supply the goods or services?

Is your proposal written from your customer’s perspective? Do you use
language with which he is familiar? Do you know his personal or his
organization's key objectives?

Are your fees or costs clearly stated? Do they follow a description of
your approach and benefits?

Will the customer understand what he or she is supposed to do upon
reading the proposal?

Methods for Proposal Preparation

Prepare an Introduction

Start with a Theme: Concise statement which describes what
you are offering and why it meets the customer needs

Example: XYZ solution provides a secure method for ensuring
rapid and accurate assessment of insurance claims

Convey your understanding of the customer requirement and
provides a top
level view of how your proposal addresses
those requirements

Methods for Proposal Preparation

Describe your Technical Approach:

Provide a detailed
description of your approach and what it will accomplish

Describe major technical objectives and activities

Identify risks, challenges, and approaches to dealing with

Describe the outcome in terms of meeting customer’s

Identify key personnel and their qualifications

Describe the facilities and equipment required to complete
the effort.

Methods for Proposal Preparation (cont)

Describe your “Commercialization Strategy”

Describe how your product satisfies a market

Small, light weight, feedback controllable
actuators could find wide application by both military and
commercial entities for telerobotics applications. Products
could include: actuators, simulation software, compact
brakes, active vibration control modules,etc.

Methods for Proposal Preparation (cont)

Provide a Schedule, Identify Milestones, define Deliverables:

Prepare a schedule which reflects a top
level Work
Breakdown Structure

Identify and discuss major milestones

List deliverables (routine reports, product documentation,
equipment or product)

Methods for Proposal Preparation (cont)

Prepare the Cost/Price Proposal:

The Cost proposal is often
delivered in a separate (sealed) package from the Technical

Cost Proposal format is often dictated by the RFP

“Cost” will include the costs you will incur plus the earnings
you expect (Cost + Earnings = Price)

Cost/price breakdown should provide customer with
sufficient information to evaluate your offer for cost/price

Methods for Proposal Preparation (cont)

Simple Cost/price Breakdown:
The table below shows how
scope of effort and associated cost/price might be presented for a
simple effort:

Should map at a high level to WBS or Schedule

Shows what the customer gets (quantity of labor, cost of

1. Evaluate hardware 0ptions
100 man-hours
2. Select and order hardware
1/3 cost upfront
1/3 hardware cost
200 man-hours
1/3 cost
100 man-hours
5. Train
50 man-hours
3. Install hardware
4. Debug system
Methods for Proposal Preparation (cont)

Summarize Your Offer:

Capture key components and discriminators
of your proposal in a summary paragraph

Provides a concise recap of what you are offering

Can be used to hi
light qualifications, past experience, and key

Example: “XYZ, the largest Database designer in the United States
provides secure database design services for over 500 major clients
including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland
Security, First National Bank, and Ford Motor Company. "

May provide a comparison/recap of your solution compared to
existing solutions or alternative solutions from potential

Lab V Phase II SBIR/Grant Proposal

Cover Sheet
(Product Name, Project Team Name, Date, etc.)

Table of Contents, List of Figures, etc


Description of what is being proposed and why

Technical Approach

Description of prototype capabilities and results

Description of proposed activities to transition prototype to product

Detail tasks to be performed

Describe results to be achieved

Identify Key Personnel

Identify Facilities and Equipment required to complete the tasks to be

Commercialization Strategy

Schedule, Milestones, and Deliverables

Proposal Costs


Reference Links

SBIR Websites:

Phase II Example: