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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

4 Tips for Getting Funding From The Department of Defense

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
The government does not give grants, but certain government departments will fund projects by small businesses whose focus is in alignment with areas of research that are important to the government. One of those departments is the Department of Defense.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) works through the Department of Defense and is responsible for developing new technologies for military use, as well as projects in biology, medicine and neuroscience. A couple projects that were recently funded included a blood purification system and a portable blood sample storage kit.

But small companies must be on their game and well-prepared in order to secure grants like these. Here are some tips that actually came from small companies who were successful in securing grants from the Department of Defense.

#1 Ask questions during pre-solicitation

About a month prior to DARPA soliciting for project applications, candidates have a window of opportunity to ask questions about the project. This is an excellent time to ask the project manager technical questions and find out if your project is a good fit. After this window closes, all questions and posted to a message board with visibility to everyone.

#2 Do your homework

Take the time to research the project and find out everything you can, just as you would prepare for a job interview. DARPA isn't going to just give you money. They need to know that your small company has the technology to solve their problem. Make sure you do your homework and be prepared.

#3 Read the application carefully

Make sure you understand the questions and answer them directly and thoroughly. Documentation will be required, so be certain to supply it the first time. You may not get a second opportunity to give them what they need.

#4 Be specific about how you can solve their problem

Explain what technology you have and how it will work to solve the problem. If you have had success with your technology in the past, tell them about it and explain how it worked and why. They are looking for new ideas that will make long-term fundamental positive changes.

For more information, visit www.darpa.mil/opportunities/sbir_sttr/sbir_program.aspx




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