The NEI participates fully in both the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer grant programs. Investigator-initiated applications are accepted in all areas of vision science through the NIH Omnibus Solicitations on the standard annual receipt dates of April 1, August 1, and December 1. From time to time the NEI solicits applications in particular programmatic areas, either through Requests for Applications or through Program Announcements. These special Funding Opportunity Announcements are published in the NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts, the Apply section of the Grants.gov site, and on the NEI website http://www.nei.nih.gov. Please contact the NEI Research Resources Officer at 301-451-2020 for additional information.
R43, R44 Small Business Innovation Research Award (SBIR)
The Phase I award (R43) has the objective of establishing the technical merit and feasibility of proposed research and development (R&D) efforts that may ultimately lead to a commercial product or service. Phase I awards are normally made for a six-month period for up to $100,000 total cost. The applicant organization must meet the federal eligibility criteria for a small business and the principal investigator must be a primary employee of that organization (more than one-half the employee’s time and effort). A Phase II award (R44) supports in-depth continuation of R&D projects whose feasibility has been established in Phase I. Phase II awards provide two years of support for up to $750,000 total costs for the entire period. The Fast Track mechanism expedites the decision and award of Phase II funding for scientifically meritorious applications for projects that have a high potential for commercialization. Phase I, Phase II and Fast Track applicants may propose longer periods of time and greater levels of funds when these can be justified as necessary for completion of the project.
R41, R42 Small Business Technology Transfer Grants (STTR)
These awards facilitate cooperative R&D between small business concerns (not less than 40% of the work) and research institutions (not less that 30% of the work), where commercialization is the primary goal of the project. The principal investigator must have a formal appointment with or commitment to the applicant organization (the small business concern), which is characterized by an official relationship between the organization and that individual. Such a relationship does not necessarily involve a salary or other form of remuneration. Phase I (R41), Phase II (R42), and Fast Track (expedited, joint Phase I and II) applications are considered. Normally Phase I awards may not exceed $100,000 total cost for one year and Phase II awards may not exceed $500,000 total cost for two years. However, applicants may propose longer periods of time and greater amounts of funds necessary for completion of the project.