SBA Seeks to Recognize Innovative Small Businesses

    By Adrienne Burke | Small Business

    The U.S. Small Business Administration this week issued a call for nominations for its two annual contests: the Tibbetts Awards and the Small Business Innovation Research Hall of Fame Awards. The deadline for nominations is May 2 at 11:59 pm, and awards will be presented in June during the annual SBIR National Conference at the National Harbor.

    The Tibbetts Awards, named for Roland Tibbetts, known as the father of the federal government's Small Business Innovation Research program, go to small businesses and individuals who exemplify the best of the program, and promote its mission and goals, as well as those of the related Small Business Technology Transfer program.

    But your business does not need to be a recipient of SBIR assistance to win: One type of Tibbetts prize will go to any businesses that have participated in the SBIR or STTR Phase I and II award programs. A second type will go to individuals who have not received assistance but supported the programs. A maximum of 60 awards may be given to eligible Tibbetts Awards nominees.

    Both of the SBA-administered programs seek to advance technological inventions from small businesses in the commercial marketplace. The highly competitive SBIR award is a three-phase program that encourages small businesses to explore their technological potential and helps them profit from their inventions.

    The awards are presented to companies that promote the mission and goals of the SBIR program. Winners are selected based on the economic impact of their technological innovation, and the extent to which that innovation served federal R&D needs, encouraged diverse participation, and increased the commercialization of federal research.

    In addition to the Tibbetts Awards, this will be the fourth year that the Small Business Innovation Research Hall of Fame recognizes past awardees of its programs who have gone on to demonstrate extraordinary success in research, innovation, and commercialization. Past SBIR Hall of Fame winners include IRobot, Qualcomm, Symantec, Genzyme Corp, ViaSat, Martek Biosciences.

    All Tibbetts and SBIR Hall of Fame award winners will be selected by the SBA based on the recommendations of a panel of judges.

    See eligibility requirments, judging criteria, and application rules, and submit nominations online. And learn about past winners here.

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