SoCal SBIR STTR Con Agenda


Are you ready for the SoCal SBIR STTR CON? Register Here!

Week 1: Tuesday, Oct 6th – Friday, Oct 9th

Date Time Workshop
Tuesday, October 6 9:00 AM-10:00 AM Kick-Off Ceremonies

• Rosibel Ochoa, PhD, Assoicate Vice Chancellor, Office of Technology Partnerships, UC Riverside
• Rodolfo H. Torres, PhD, Vice Chancellor for Research & Economic Development, UC Riverside
• Adalberto Quijada, Director of the Orange County/Inland Empire District US Small Business Administration
•Scott Brovsky, EPIC SBDC, Director
•Martin Kleckner, EPIC SBDC, Entrepreneur in Residence
•Misty Madero, SBIR/STTR Resource Center Manager, UC Riverside
10:00 AM -11:00 AM U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Presentation
Christopher O’Gwin

The mission of the DOE SBIR/STTR Programs Office is to manage the administration and evaluation of about 2,000 Phase I and Phase II grant applications each year. The annual budget of the DOE SBIR/STTR programs is $205M and enables the DOE to award approximately 400 Phase I and II grants every year.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM The National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) Presentation
Brian Bard

NIDILRR is the federal government’s primary disability research agency. It’s mission is to generate new knowledge and to promote its effective use to improve the abilities of individuals with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community, and to expand society’s capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for its citizens with disabilities.
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM SBIR Expert Topic Workshop: “Forming Effective Corporate Alliances for Research and Business Development” (A Corporate Executive Panel)

Moderator, Jim Llano, Associate Director of Corporate & Strategic Partnerships, Office of Technology Partnerships, UC Riverside Panelists:
• Derek Drost, PhD, Innovation Manager, BASF Biosciences / BASF California Research Alliance
• Keith J. Marcinowski, Ph.D, Principal Scientist, Technology Scouting and Innovation / The J.M. Smucker Company
• Claudia Roessler, Director of Agriculture – Azure Global Engineering Group
• Alex Primis, Global Enterprise Lead, Academic and Industrial Markets – Corporate Accounts
• Keith Chun, M.D., New Venture Transactions, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, California Innovation Center

Alliances among new ventures, companies and universities are a crucial means for funding and market development. Designed and managed wisely, strategic alliances can help startups develop and exploit their unique strengths and access life sustaining capital. Alliances are a powerful tool for corporations to access new technology and develop new opportunities. SBIR funding agencies view and promote alliances as an effective indication of evidence-based market value. They see them as a means to de-risk their seed investment, prove the market, and accelerate commercialization. In this impactful panel of senior business development executives, you will learn how to find, prepare, develop, and manage a productive and sustainable strategic partnership and how to fund and accelerate your venture using both intelligent business alliances and SBIR grants.
Wednesday, October 7 9:00 AM-10:00 AM U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Presentation
Rachel Sack & Clare Masucci

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) highly competitive SBIR program awards contracts to domestic small businesses to pursue research on and develop innovative solutions to our nation’s transportation challenges. The U.S. DOT SBIR program favors research that has the potential for commercialization through products and applications sold to the private sector transportation industry, state departments of transportation, U.S. DOT, or other federal agencies. Small businesses that participate in U.S. DOT’s SBIR program have developed numerous new and innovative technologies that have benefited the department and the public, while providing a basis for growth for small businesses. Over the past five years, the U.S. DOT SBIR program has invested $50 million in qualified small businesses.
10:00 AM -11:00 AM United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) – National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Presentation
Kelly McDonald

NIFA — a federal agency within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) — is part of USDA’s Research, Education, and Economics (REE) mission area. The agency administers federal funding to address the agricultural issues impacting people’s daily lives and the nation’s future. NIFA programs propel cutting-edge discoveries from research laboratories to farms, classrooms, communities, and back again. Through three main federal-funding mechanisms, NIFA supports programs that address key national challenge areas.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Presentation
Stephanie Davis

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provides global leadership for a research, training, and education program to promote the prevention and treatment of heart, lung, and blood disorders and enhance the health of all individuals so that they can live longer and more fulfilling lives. The NHLBI Small Business Program supports research and development by US-owned and operated small businesses on innovative and commercially promising products to prevent, diagnose, and treat heart, lung, and blood-related diseases and disorders.
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM SBIR Expert Topic Workshop: “Designing & Managing an Effective Commercialization Plan”
Sean Jasso PhD, Professor of Practice at the University of California, Riverside A. Gary Anderson School of Business

The commercialization plan is a critical component of SBIR and STTR proposals. What it includes and how it is presented tells reviewers a lot about whether your innovation has a realistic chance for success. Even with an acceptable project description and research approach, a poorly prepared commercialization plan can cause reviewers to reject your proposal. In this interactive workshop, you will learn how to develop a convincing commercial justification and provide a compelling story to show funders that your idea is both innovative and critical for commercial success. Learn how to design an ideal and plausible Go-To-Market strategy and demonstrate your shortest path to sustainable revenue generation.
Thursday, October 8 9:00 AM-10:00 AM National Institute of Nursing Research (NIH/NINR) Presentation
Kristopher Bough

The mission of the National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is to promote and improve the health of individuals, families, and communities. To achieve its mission, NINR supports research and research training through grants and fellowships. Part of the NINR Division of Extramural Science Programs (DESP), NINR Program Directors are scientists who oversee the conduct of research programs within specific science areas. They are the main points of contact between NINR and the extramural research community and serve as an advocate and resource for applicants and investigators seeking NINR research and training grants. NINR-supported research is divided into five areas of science: Symptom Science, Wellness, Self-Management, Technology and Training, and End-of-Life and Palliative Care.
10:00 AM -11:00 AM National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) Presentation
Orlando Lopez

The mission of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is to improve dental, oral, and craniofacial health. The agency performs and supports basic, translational, and clinical research; conducts and funds research training and career development programs to ensure an adequate number of talented, well-prepared, and diverse investigators; coordinating and assisting relevant research and research-related activities among all sectors of the research community; and promotes the timely transfer of knowledge gained from research and its implications for health to the public, health professionals, researchers, and policy-makers.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM SBIR Expert Topic Workshop: “Designing & Management of a Research Plan for SBIR Funding”
Presenter: Gillian Wilson, PhD Senior Associate Vice Chancellor, Office of Research & Economic Development, UC Riverside

A vital part of all SBIR and STTR grant proposals is the critical issue of designing a fund-worthy study approach that meets reviewer award criteria. This is a challenging requirement for entrepreneurs who are not formally trained in research design. If not developed well, a poor project description may be the “deal killer” that prevents founders from being awarded a grant. In this indispensable workshop, you will learn how to prepare a research design and propose a study approach that is expected by grant reviewers. It covers the essential requisites in planning and conducting your research project to win Phase I concept and progress through Phase II efficacy. Learn how to 1) prepare a research proposal, 2) the criteria for well-prepared study approach, 3) the importance of project title, abstract, and statement of aims, and 4) how to write a research question and understand defining your problem.
Friday, October 9 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Presentation
Dr. Meg Grabb

The mission of the NIMH is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure. The goal of the NIMH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs is to support small businesses to develop technologies that can advance the mission of the Institute, including basic neuroscience research, translational and clinical research, clinical diagnosis and treatment, and dissemination and implementation of evidence-based research on mental disorders. NIMH SBIR/STTR Program Staff are committed to working with applicants and awardees to support research and development of innovative technologies by small businesses that have the potential to succeed commercially or to provide significant societal benefits, in the areas of neuroscience and mental health.
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM U. S. Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) – Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment (APEX) Presentation
Kathleen Gilpin

U. S. Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) – Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment (APEX) We are the Academic Partnership Engagement Experiment – a U.S. Air Force Partnership Intermediary through Wright State Applied Research Corporation and supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory Small Business Office. Our team is comprised of serial entrepreneurs, retired military members, scientists, academic researchers and former U.S. Department of Defense executive leaders. Our standard for excellence is built on the diversity of our backgrounds that have afforded us a deep understanding of the importance of the APEX mission that supports the U.S. Air Force Science & Technology Strategy.

Week 2: October 13th-16th

Date Time Workshop
Tuesday, October 13 9:00 AM-10:00 AM U.S. Department of Education Presentation
Edward Metz

The U.S. Department of Education’ Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, operated out of its research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), provides up to $1,100,000 in funding to small businesses and partners for research and development to translate their innovative ideas into commercial products that address educational problems in education and special education. ED/IES SBIR-supported awardees have brought emerging and innovative forms of learning and instructional technologies to classrooms, such as games, assessments, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 3D-printing, simulations, virtual worlds, AI adaptive tutors, data dashboards, and assistive technologies. Many ED/IES SBIR-supported products have won national industry awards for technological innovation in education.
10:00 AM -11:00 AM Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Q&A
April Richards

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) The EPA’s SBIR program focuses on developing and commercializing innovative technologies that address the Agency’s mission of protecting human health and the environment. EPA topic areas include air and climate, water, green manufacturing and homeland security.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM U.S. Army Research Office/ARL Presentation
Nicole Fox

The vision of the Office of Small Business Programs at the Army Research Office is to be the premier advocacy organization committed to maximizing small business opportunities in support of Army’s basic extramural research programs. Our goal is to enable participation of Small Business (SB), Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), Service Disabled Veteran Owned (SDVOSB), Veteran Owned Small Business (VOSB), Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB), and Historically Under-Utilized Business Zone (HUBZone) businesses seeking to work with us to the greatest extent practicable. he overarching goals of the SBIR and STTR programs are: (1) stimulate technological innovation, (2) increase small business participation in federal R&D, (3) increase private sector commercialization of technology developed through federal R&D, and (4) foster and encourage participation in federal R&D by businesses that are owned by women and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM SBIR Expert Topic Workshop: “Developing and Managing Effective Project Plans”
Ken Gruys, PhD, Senior Advisor, Office of Technology Partnerships, UC Riverside

SBIR and STTR proposals require a high-level project plan to guide both project execution and project control. Grant reviewer criteria for a fund-worthy project plan are documented planning assumptions, scope of work (including deliverables and work breakdown), cost breakdown, and schedule baselines including performance measures. Proposers are challenged to effectively explain the project plan to grant reviewers and discuss its key components. Reviewers want to know that you have your ‘stakes in the ground’ to determine if the project is on track during its execution. Project management plans document what the project team will do when variances to the baselines occur, including what process will be followed. SBIR grant proposals further require a risk management plan, a quality plan, a procurement plan, a staffing plan, and a communications plan.
Wednesday, October 14 9:00 AM-10:00 AM Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Presentation
Mindy Bixby

The mission of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) is to ensure that every person is born healthy and wanted, that women suffer no harmful effects from the reproductive process, that all children have the chance to fulfill their potential to live healthy and productive lives free from disease or disability, and to ensure the health, productivity, independence, and well-being of all people through optimal rehabilitation. In pursuit of this mission, NICHD conducts and supports laboratory research, clinical trials, and epidemiological studies that explore health processes; examines the impact of disabilities, diseases, and defects on the lives of individuals and families; and sponsors training programs for scientists, doctors, and researchers to ensure that NICHD research can continue. NICHD research programs incorporate events that happen prior to and throughout pregnancy, as well as during childhood, human growth and development, reproductive health of women and men, and developing medical rehabilitation interventions can improve the health and well-being of people with disabilities.
10:00 AM -11:00 AM Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Presentation
Jennifer Thabet

For sixty years, DARPA has held to a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security.Working with innovators inside and outside of government, DARPA has repeatedly delivered on that mission, transforming revolutionary concepts and even seeming impossibilities into practical capabilities. The ultimate results have included not only game-changing military capabilities such as precision weapons and stealth technology, but also such icons of modern civilian society such as the Internet, automated voice recognition and language translation, and Global Positioning System receivers small enough to embed in myriad consumer devices.
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM National Science Foundation (NSF) Presentation
Ben Schrag

The NSF has helped startups and small businesses transform their ideas into marketable products and services. The agency focuses on high-risk, high-impact technologies — those that show promise but whose success has not yet been validated. Each year, the NSF awards $200 million in funding to entrepreneurs across the country. Its goals are to foster innovation and help create businesses and jobs in the United States.
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM Investor Panel: “Leveraging SBIR to Access Capital” (A Venture Capitalist Panel)
Scott Brovsky, Director, EPIC SBDC, UC Riverside

SBIR and STTR grants are referred to as “America’s Seed Capital”. They are meant to prove concept, show feasibility, and demonstrate efficacy to the point that, if further venture equity is required, angel investors and venture capitalists may be encouraged enough by the grant-funded traction. Start-up company founders must typically sell their ideas to angel investors, corporate and private venture funds, and strategic partners while SBIR and STTR-funded proofs of concept and efficacy research are being completed. Successful raising of capital in Phase II may qualify awardees to receive agency matching and supplemental grant funds. This workshop is for anyone who is launching a new venture and needs investment capital by means of federal SBIR or STTR funding, private equity and/or strategic investing partnerships to enable their growth. Raising the funds and finding the early adopter that you need to launch your new venture is a huge challenge. Prospects (early adopters, investors, reviewers, and partners) are distinguishable in terms of how to be approached. They possess distinguishable buyer behavior characteristics. How should you increase your chances to get their doors opened and create the best footing to succeed?
Thursday, October 15 9:00 AM-10:00 AM National Institute of Neurologic Diseases (NINDS) Presentation
Emily Caporello

The mission of NINDS is to seek fundamental knowledge about the brain and nervous system and to use that knowledge to reduce the burden of neurological disease. To support this mission, NINDS supports and performs basic, translational, and clinical neuroscience research through grants-in-aid, contracts, scientific meetings, and through research in its own laboratories, and clinics; funds and conducts research training and career development programs to increase basic, translational and clinical neuroscience expertise and ensure a vibrant, talented, and diverse work force, and promotes the timely dissemination of scientific discoveries and their implications for neurological health to the public, health professionals, researchers, and policy-makers
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Department of the Navy Presentation
Robert Smith

Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR) The Naval-X SoCal Tech Bridge Although the Navy’s SBIR and STTR programs are a component of the overall Department of Defense (DoD) SBIR/STTR program, the Navy’s program is targeted at addressing the needs and areas of interest to the Navy and its System Commands (SYSCOMS). The Navy’s SBIR/STTR Programs are primarily mission oriented, providing companies the opportunity to become part of the national technology base that can feed both the military and private sectors of the nation. To that end, the Navy incorporates into its Phase II component, the emphasis on the small business’ need to market its technology to both military and private sectors.
The Naval-X SoCal Tech Bridge is focused on leveraging the Southern California convergence of Installations, Industry, and Research to unlock emerging technology through non-traditional partnerships. The SoCal Tech Bridge is built around the philosophy that collaborative markets can be established that enable mutually beneficial opportunities for DOD and Commercial Industry to partner. These collaborative efforts are the foundation for a better business model unlocking the future of DOD R&D, requirements development, and prototyping. To achieve this, one of many tools are used, MOUs, CRADAs, Vendor Demo Agreements, SBIR contracts, and Broad Area Announcements, to name a few. Technical Focus Areas are Installation Protection, Resilience, Mobility, Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning, and Autonomous Systems
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM Naval-X/Tech Bridge Discussion Panel
Brian Suh, Director, Technology Commercialization, UC Riverside
• Shadi, Azoum, NAVWAR Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Program Manager, NAVWAR Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) Program Manager, and NavalX SBIR/STTR Liaison Officer (LNO)
• Troy Clark, Inland Empire’s Tech Bridge Director / Strategic Advisor, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division
• Jennifer Stewart, NSWC Corona ORTA Technology Transfer (T2)/SBIR Program Manager and FLC Laboratory Representative with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona Division
• Alan Yaeger, Ventura Tech Bridge Director
• Whitney Tallarico, Tech Bridge Director at NavalX
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM “Increasing Your Success by Talking to Customers”
Presenter: Jay Gilberg, Director and Instructor, UC Riverside, NSF I-Corps program

Can you improve your chances of success through the “Art of Asking Questions” and “Experimental Interviews” rather than selling features and benefits? Can certain value propositions kill your business? How well do you really know your target end-user market and stakeholders, their buy-in motivations and behavior? Why do investors, federal SBIR/STTR grant proposal reviewers, and prospective business partners pay so much attention to how your commercialization plan and its business model were conceived? This workshop will help you determine, verify, and manage the right course for your start-up from customer discovery, validation, and development through consummation of a favorable term sheet. Understanding and responding properly to multiple stake holder needs from conception to commercialization can raise your odds of being funded and building a scalable, sustainable company.
Friday, October 16 9:00 AM-10:00 AM Partnerships for Innovation (PFI), Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP), Directorate of Engineering, National Science Foundation Presentation
Kaitlin Bratlie

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