TABA is essentially a mechanism to help you cover commercialization and business costs that otherwise could not be included in your SBIR/STTR proposal. TABA stands for “Technical and Business Assistance”, and was authorized in the 2019 John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act.

Services allowed vary by agency.
Several agencies are implementing TABA services, but funding amount vary by agency.  In addition, some agencies (for example NIH, some DOD components, DOE) provide commercialization assistance at no cost to the company.  You need to read specific instructions from the specific agency funding your project. In addition, instructions are changing so you can’t assume that any information you already have — perhaps from a previous solicitation — is still valid.

In general, agencies will allow TABA funds to pay for the following services:

  • Market Analysis- reviewing competitive technologies, market size and dynamics
  • Expert/End-User Interviews for Insights and Market Validation
  • IP Landscape Review
  • IP Strategy Consultation
  • Product Development Consultation
  • Market Entry Launch Strategy
  • Company Resource and Team Building
  • Manufacturing Strategy Consultation
  • Fundraising Strategy Development
  • Financial Plan Review
  • Preparation of Marketing Materials
  • Identification and Outreach to Potential Partners
  • Regulatory Path-to-Market Consultation
  • Web Presence and Social Media Consultation
  • Technology Representation at Trade Shows, Conferences, or Events
  • Deal Terms Advisory

Note; BBCetc can provide direct assistance with the above services in bold.

Requesting TABA funding.
You should refer to the solicitation information from the agency you’re applying to for specific TABA amounts available and the request process.

In general, to request direct funding for TABA, a requesting firm must provide the firm name of the TABA provider, the TABA provider’s point of contact as well as contact information (email address and phone number, and a brief explanation of the TABA provider’s unique qualifications to provide the service.  The request must also include a list of the tasks that will be performed by the TABA provider and the total cost and labor rates.
There are also a few factors that TABA must not include. The request must not be subject to any fee or profit by the SBIR applicant. The proposed TABA provider may not be an affiliate of the SBIR applicant, an investor of the SBIR applicant, or the SBIR applicant itself.

BBCetc is here to help!
As mentioned earlier, BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting (BBCetc) can coach you through the TABA solicitation process as well as handling most of the services allowed by the participating agencies.

BBCetc has provided SBIR/STTR consulting services since 1996 to help clients take their idea, concept or prototype from early product concept all the way to market. In addition to proposal development assistance and post-award administration, we can help you form partnerships, find capital, research opportunities, explore new markets and move products into production and into the hands of consumers. That includes technology startup creation, license generation, patents and intellectual property issues.

To learn more about TABA and how BBCetc can help, contact Kris Bergman at kris@bbcetc.com.

Business Development TABA: Supplemental SBIR/STTR funding you might not know about