Small Business Innovation Research Phase Three

Igniting Small Business Innovation, Commercialization and Growth

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Editor's Note: This is the second in a three-part series about acquisition innovation at GSA. Visit the first and third blog in the series.

GSA is always looking for new and innovative ways to better serve our customer agencies and industry partners. That’s how a new partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program came about. GSA is initiating a pilot to conduct acquisitions on behalf of participating agencies for Phase III of the SBIR program.

SBIR is a competitive awards-based program that is intended to assist domestic small businesses in stimulating technological innovation while also meeting federal research and development needs.

SBIR has three phases. Phase I and II focus on research and development through technical merit, feasibility, and potential commercialization of a solution. Phase III focuses on production and pursuing commercialization of the solution. This is where GSA’s acquisition expertise can help participating agencies benefit from these innovative solutions.

In this pilot, GSA will award Phase III contracts on behalf of SBIR participating federal agencies. This will give government agencies access to cutting-edge American small business innovation, and promote the commercialization of these solutions. Additionally, SBIR’s goal is to foster and encourage participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by women-owned and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses. GSA will work to leverage its cross-government relationships to create a more effective and efficient government for the American people while enabling small business growth. GSA anticipates that awards made under SBIR Phase III will grow the U.S. economy --- for every $1 invested in SBIR, the Navy and Air Force estimate approximately $14 is generated in total economic impact.

GSA views  this program as a unique opportunity to improve the way federal agencies buy and use technology. This couldn't come at a better time given the government’s increasing demand for access to innovation in the federal marketplace.  

The pilot will run throughout fiscal year 2019 and be led by GSA’s Office of Assisted Acquisition Services’ (AAS) Great Lakes Region (Region 5) and Federal Systems Integration and Management (FEDSIM) teams.  The data from the pilot will be used to make informed decisions about whether and how best to expand this service offering; either through pursuing “economies-of-specialization,” such as establishing a dedicated client support center, or “economies-of-scale,” such as a part of offerings in all client support centers.

GSA, as the premier provider of efficient and effective acquisition solutions across the federal government, is excited for the opportunity to bring more innovative solutions into the federal marketplace provided by its SBIR Phase III Pilot. We look forward to working with our customer agencies and industry partners as we continue to promote innovation in federal acquisition.

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