Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP)
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Welcome to the

National Institutes of Health
Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP)
For Phase II SBIR & STTR Awardees

Personalized AssistanceKnowledge TransferBusiness OutcomesStay on Track with CAP

Program CLOSED

What is CAP?

The NIH Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP) is a specialized technical assistance program for SBIR/STTR Phase II awardees. CAP is designed to help promising small life science companies develop their commercial businesses and transition their SBIR/STTR - developed technologies into the marketplace.

Assisting small businesses is a top priority for the NIH in ensuring the success of the SBIR/STTR programs and maximizing the agency's investment. Since the program's inception in 2003, NIH has provided approximately 700 participants with individualized assistance toward accomplishing their commercialization goals. This is achieved through training workshops, individual mentoring and consulting sessions, as well as public events in which companies present their technologies to the investment community, potential strategic partners and licensees.

Why CAP?

The NIH CAP offers opportunities to “emerging companies” who are making their first foray into the commercial marketplace. The program is customized to meet the needs of early stage companies. It is aimed at assisting participants with evaluating their commercialization options based on their specific technologies (including the need and prospect for investment, strategic partnerships or licensing) and to develop a solid market-entry plan covering an 18-month period. The assistance rendered under CAP is practical, oriented to addressing gaps that exist in your current commercialization status, to fully articulate a compelling case for market channels relevant to your business, establish a practical plan with time-limited milestones and budgets to accomplish commercialization goals and develop a clear understanding of potential customers, partners, investors and competitors, derived from contact with experienced advisors and live feedback from current industry executives and others.

With seventy five (75) slots available will be distributed between the two tracks as follows:

  • Commercialization Training Track (CTT) - With sixty (60) slots available, this track will apply to the majority of NIH SBIR/STTR Phase II companies. It is aimed at assisting participants with evaluating their commercialization options based on their specific technologies (including the need and prospect for investment, strategic partnerships or licensing) and to develop a solid market-entry plan (“Commercialization Roadmap”) covering an 18-month period. It also assists participants in the development of market-appropriate tools to accomplish these objectives. Participants work one-on-one with a principal advisor and industry experts as needed.
  • Accelerated Commercialization Track (ACT) - With fifteen (15) slots, this track will apply to a select group of NIH-funded companies who have successfully commercialized products and/or services, generated revenue, established partnerships and/or otherwise achieved a level of market development that is sustainable over a definitive period. However, they may need to address a specific applicable issue (such as a solid regulatory plan, a license-focused IP strategy or a term sheet for investors) whose resolution is key to their continued growth. This track specifically deploys industry experts to help participants achieve these outcomes.

What should you expect?

  • One-on-one business mentoring with a principal advisor focusing on concrete deliverables.
  • Advice from industry experts on regulatory and licensing issues, business strategy, investor pitch.
  • Great networking opportunities you can leverage well into the future.
  • Awardees participate in three separate program outcomes tracking over an 18 month period. Please view the "data" tab for CAP outcomes results.

Who Is Eligible to Participate?

  • Companies whose NIH SBIR/STTR Phase II award is or was active in the past 5 fiscal years, including Phase IIB competing renewals (grant, contract, or cooperative agreement) and those in the Fast-Track program. SBIR/STTR projects that ended before August 2007 are not eligible.
  • Companies that meet the current SBIR/STTR small business eligibility criteria as described in the NIH SBIR/STTR Omnibus solicitation. (The solicitation and its parent funding opportunity announcements are available from the NIH Small Business Funding Opportunities website)
  • Previous NIH SBIR/STTR CAP participants with a different Phase II award. Please note that first time applicants to the CAP will be given priority due to the limited number of slots.
  • Company CEO participation is highly encouraged in this program. The commitment of time and resources with management support is vital. Past experience indicates that the best results are achieved when the CEO serves as the company’s CAP Leader and is actively involved.
  • CAP participation is free of charge; however, participants are responsible for travel and lodging expenses associated with attending workshops.NOTE: NIH will not provide additional funding for this purpose; however, participants with a currently active Phase II SBIR/STTR award may rebudget funds within the total costs awarded to cover allowable travel expenses for CAP events without NIH prior approval unless the rebudgeting action constitutes a change in scope or if the terms of award prohibit the use of funds for this purpose.
If you meet the eligibility criteria, click here to read the full CAP program description and submit your application today!


This page last updated on November 8, 2012
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