"How long does it take to prepare a grant?"
This is the most-asked question from our clients. Basically, our answer is whatever it takes to win. Our strategy is to submit an application that has a high probability of winning or look for another solicitation/RFP that would be more applicable for your company/ technology.
For a new company that has never submitted a Phase I SBIR proposal, we usually tell them to dedicate a minimum of 200 hours of time from the company-side. Grant-writing/project management time will be as low as 60 hours or as high as 200 hours, depending on the quality of information supplied by the company and the experience of the company with grant submission. For a company that has submitted grants before or is doing a re-submission, Grant-writing/project management time often is between 20-60 hours.
There are some solicitations that are not appropriate for your companys project. Also, there are some companies that have excellent technologies but are not considered fundable because they do not address a problem that needs solving by the agency. For these situations, there is no amount of time that will win the grant. Companies that have new technologies often have to educate the agencies about their technology before it is acceptable. Some agencies are responsive to new ideas but it does take time to educate them.
We have found that you can increase your chances of winning/shorten the preparation time by having the following in place.
·You are submitting a proposal in response to a specific solicitation/RFP (request for proposal) vs. a general one that is not specific.
·Your technology fits the problem to be solved in the solicitation/RFP
·Your principal investigator has well-referenced publications in the field and/or patents and/or successful commercialization history and/or has been successful at winning grants in the past. If your principal investigator does not have these qualifications, then adding consultants to your project that do have them can sometimes overcome these barriers.
·You have information/biographies/references/graphics from a past-submitted proposal.
·Your company either has some commercialization history or you have strategic partners willing to prepare letters of support that they are interested in helping you commercialize your product if it proves feasible in your Phase I project.
If the probability of winning is not high, then we need to work on strategy. That is where SciBiz can help.