SBIR Discretionary Technical Assistance

Additional Assistance for Companies with SBIR Funding

The 2011 SBIR Reauthorization made it possible for companies to request Discretionary Technical Assistance from vendors of their choice in their Phase I and Phase II proposals to some agencies. These agencies include the Navy, DARPA, the Missile Defense Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Institutes of Health. One of the purposes of Discretionary Technical Assistance is to commercialize the product or process and move it from R&D into the marketplace. Companies can request a maximum of $5000 per year above the baseline amount of the SBIR award. Agency solicitations contain detailed instructions.

High Tech Rochester offers a unique opportunity for Finger Lakes area optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI) companies to increase the amount of Discretionary Technical Assistance provided using grants from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. HTR is this area’s NIST affiliate for the Manufacturing Extension Program designed to help small and mid-sized U.S. manufacturers to create and retain jobs, increase profits, and save time and money. The MEP network provides a variety of services for manufacturing firms, from innovation strategies to process improvements to green manufacturing. MEP also works with partners at the state and federal levels on programs that put manufacturers in position to develop new customers, expand into new markets, and create new products.

The Rochester Regional Photonics Accelerator (RRPA) is another resource for area OPI firms. The RRPA is a three-year, $1.7M grant from a group of five federal agencies intended to accelerate the growth of small and medium-sized optics, photonics, and imaging companies in the Finger Lakes region. HTR administers the NIST portion of the RRPA which is intended to increase revenues and result in increased or retained jobs for small and mid-sized manufacturing firms.

If you are a manufacturer and have active SBIR programs or want more information on starting an SBIR program, contact Mark Schrader at HTR Growth Services (, 585-327-7934) to see how HTR can help you commercialize the results of your SBIR program.

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New York Photonics is a not-for-profit organization founded to promote and enhance the New York State optics, photonics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.


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