Skip to Content

Notice

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS); Overview Information; National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)-Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)-Phase I; Notice Inviting Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.133S-1.

Dates: Applications Available: January 13, 2010.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 15, 2010.

Full Text of Announcement

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Purpose of Program: The purpose of this program is to stimulate technological innovation in the private sector, strengthen the role of small business in meeting Federal research or research and development (R/R&D) needs, increase the commercial application of the U.S. Department of Education (Department) supported research results, and improve the return on investment from federally funded research for economic and social benefits to the Nation.

Note:

This program is in concert with NIDRR's Final Long-Range Plan for FY 2005-2009 (Plan).

The Plan, which was published in the Federal Register on February 15, 2006 (71 FR 8166), can be accessed on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​about/​offices/​lists/​osers/​nidrr/​policy.html.

Through the implementation of the Plan, NIDRR seeks to: (1) Improve the quality and utility of disability and rehabilitation research; (2) foster an exchange of expertise, information, and training to facilitate the advancement of knowledge and understanding of the unique needs of individuals with disabilities from traditionally underserved populations; (3) determine best strategies and programs to improve rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with disabilities from underserved populations; (4) identify research gaps; (5) identify mechanisms of integrating research and practice; and (6) disseminate findings.

NIDRR Supports Manufacturing-Related Innovation (Executive Order 13329):

Executive Order 13329 states that continued technological innovation is critical to a strong manufacturing sector in the United States economy and ensures that Federal agencies assist the private sector in its manufacturing innovation efforts. The Department's SBIR program encourages innovative research and development (R&D) projects that are manufacturing-related, as defined by Executive Order 13329. Manufacturing-related R&D encompasses improvements in existing methods or processes, or wholly new processes, machines, or systems. The projects supported under the Department's SBIR program encompass a range of manufacturing-related R&D, including projects leading to the manufacture of such items as artificial intelligence or information technology devices, software, and systems. For more information on Executive Order Start Printed Page 175813329, please visit the following Web site: http://www.sba.gov/​sbir/​execorder.html or contact Lynn Medley at: lynn.medley@ed.gov.

Background

The Small Business Reauthorization Act of 2000 (Act) was enacted on December 21, 2000. The Act requires certain agencies, including the Department, to establish SBIR programs by reserving a statutory percentage of their extramural R&D budgets to be awarded to small business concerns through a uniform, highly competitive three-phase process.

The three phases of the SBIR program are:

Phase I: Phase I projects determine, insofar as possible, the scientific or technical merit and feasibility of ideas submitted under the SBIR program. An application for Phase I should concentrate on research that will contribute significantly to proving the scientific or technical feasibility of the approach or concept. Scientific or technical feasibility is a prerequisite to the Department's provision of further support in Phase II.

Phase II: Phase II projects expand on the results of and further pursue the development of Phase I projects. Phase II is the principal R/R&D effort of the SBIR program. Applications for Phase II projects must be more comprehensive than applications for Phase I projects; Phase II applications must outline the proposed effort in detail, including the commercial potential of projects or processes developed or researched during the Phase I project. Phase II applicants must be Phase I grantees with approaches that appear sufficiently promising as a result of their efforts in Phase I. Phase II awards are for periods of up to two years in amounts up to a maximum total of $500,000 over a period of two years.

Phase III: In Phase III, the small business grantee must use non-SBIR capital to pursue commercial applications of the R/R&D. Also, under Phase III, Federal agencies may award non-SBIR follow-on funding for products or processes that meet the needs of those agencies.

All SBIR projects funded by NIDRR must address the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. (See 29 U.S.C. 762). Activities may include: conducting manufacturing-related R&D that encompasses improvements in existing methods or processes, or wholly new processes, machines, or systems; exploring the uses of technology to ensure equal access to education, employment, community environments, and information for individuals with disabilities; and improving the quality and utility of disability and rehabilitation research.

Priorities: Under this competition we are particularly interested in applications that address one of the following five priorities.

Invitational Priorities: For FY 2010 these priorities are invitational priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an application that meets one of these invitational priorities a competitive or absolute preference over other applications.

Each of the following priorities relate to innovative research utilizing new technologies to address the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families. Applicants who choose to respond to one of the invitational priorities must propose projects whose activities contribute to one of the following priorities:

(1) Increased independence of individuals with disabilities in the workplace, recreational settings, or educational settings through the development of technology to support access and promote integration of individuals with disabilities.

(2) Enhanced sensory or motor function of individuals with disabilities through the development of technology to support improved functional capacity.

(3) Enhanced workforce participation through the development of technology to support access to employment, promote sustained employment, and promote employment advancement for individuals with disabilities.

(4) Enhanced community participation and living for individuals with disabilities through the development of accessible information technology including Web access technology, software, and other systems and devices that promote access to information in educational, employment, and community settings, and voting technology that improves access for individuals with disabilities.

(5) Improved interventions and increased use of health-care resources through the development of technology to support independent access to health-care services in the community for individuals with disabilities.

Applicants should describe the approaches they expect to use to collect empirical evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of the technology they are proposing. This empirical evidence should facilitate the assessment of the efficacy and usefulness of the technology.

Note:

NIDRR encourages applicants to adhere to universal design principles and guidelines. The term “universal design” is defined as “the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design” (The Center for Universal Design, 1997). Universal design of consumer products minimizes or alleviates barriers that reduce the ability of individuals with disabilities to effectively or safely use standard consumer products. (For more information see http://www.trace.wisc.edu/​docs/​consumer_​product_​guidelines/​consumer.pcs/​disabil.htm).

Program Authority: The Small Business Act, Pub. L. 85-536, as amended (15 U.S.C. 631 and 638), and title II of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 760, et seq.).

Applicable Regulations: The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 81, 82, 84, 85, 97, 98, and 99.

II. Award Information

Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

Estimated Available Funds: $1,125,000 for new Phase I awards.

Note:

The estimated amount of funds available for new Phase I awards is based upon the estimated threshold SBIR allocation for OSERS, minus prior commitments for Phase II continuation awards.

Estimated Range of Awards: $70,000-$75,000.

Estimated Average Size of Awards: $75,000.

Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $75,000 for a single budget period of up to six months. The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum amount through a notice published in the Federal Register.

Note:

The maximum award amount includes direct and indirect costs and fees.

Estimated Number of Awards: 15.

Note:

The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

Maximum Project Period: We will reject any application that proposes a project period that exceeds a single budget period of up to six months. The Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services may change the maximum project period through a notice published in the Federal Register.

III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants: Entities that are, at the time of award, small business concerns as defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA). This definition is included in the application package.Start Printed Page 1759

If it appears that an applicant organization does not meet the eligibility requirements, we will request an evaluation by the SBA. Under circumstances in which eligibility is unclear, we will not make an SBIR award until the SBA makes a determination that the applicant is eligible under its definition of small business concern.

All technology, science, or engineering firms with strong research capabilities in any of the priority areas listed in this notice are encouraged to participate. Consultative or other arrangements between these firms and universities or other non-profit organizations are permitted, but the small business concern must serve as the grantee. For Phase I projects, at least two-thirds of the research and/or analytic activities must be performed by the proposing small business concern grantee.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

3. Other: The total of all consultant fees, facility leases or usage fees, and other subcontracts or purchase agreements may not exceed one-third of the total funding award.

IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address To Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​grantapps/​index.html.

To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: Education Publications Center, P.O. Box 1398, Jessup, MD 20794-1398. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (301) 470-1244. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: http://www.ed.gov/​pubs/​edpubs.html or at its e-mail address: edpubs@inet.ed.gov.

If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this competition as follows: CFDA number 84.133S-1.

Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the person or team listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition. Page Limit: The application narrative (Part III of the application) is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. You must limit the application narrative (Part III) to the equivalent of no more than 25 pages, excluding any documentation of prior multiple Phase II awards, if applicable, and required forms, using the following standards:

  • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
  • Single space all text in the application narrative. Single space titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
  • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).
  • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial. An application submitted in any other font (including Times Roman or Arial Narrow) will not be accepted.

The page limit does not apply to Part I, the coversheet; Part II, the budget section, including the narrative budget justification; Part IV, the assurances and certifications; or the one-page abstract, the résumés, the bibliography, the letters of support; related application(s) or award(s); or documentation of multiple Phase II awards, if applicable. However, the page limit does apply to all of the application project narrative section (Part III).

We will reject your application if you exceed the page limit; or if you apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the page limit.

The application package will provide instructions for completing all components to be included in the application. Each application must include a cover sheet (Standard Form 424); budget requirements (ED Form 524) and narrative budget justification; other required forms; an abstract, Human Subjects narrative, Part III project narrative; résumé of staff; and other related materials, if applicable.

3. Content Restrictions: If an applicant chooses to respond to more than one invitational priority, we request that the applicant submit a separate application for each priority. There is no limitation on the number of different applications that an applicant may submit under this competition. An applicant may submit separate applications for different priorities, or different applications under the same priority.

Applicants should consult NIDRR's Long-Range Plan when preparing their applications. The Plan is organized around the following research domains and arenas: (1) Community Living and Participation; (2) Health and Function; (3) Technology; (4) Employment; and (5) Demographics. Applicants should indicate, for each application, the domain or arena under which they are applying. In their applications, applicants should clearly indicate whether they are applying for a research grant in the area of (1) Community Living and Participation; (2) Health and Function; (3) Technology; (4) Employment; or (5) Demographics.

4. Submission Dates and Times: Applications Available: January 13, 2010.

Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: March 15, 2010.

Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using the Electronic Grant Application system (e-Application) accessible through the Department's e-Grants site. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to section IV.7. Other Submission Requirements of this notice.

We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

5. Intergovernmental Review: This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79.

6. Funding Restrictions: We reference regulations outlining funding restrictions of the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.Start Printed Page 1760

a. Electronic Submission of Applications.

Applications for grants under the SBIR Program—CFDA Number 84.133S-1—must be submitted electronically using e-Application, accessible through the Department's e-Grants Web site at: http://e-grants.ed.gov.

We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

While completing your electronic application, you will be entering data online that will be saved into a database. You may not e-mail an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

Please note the following:

  • You must complete the electronic submission of your grant application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. E-Application will not accept an application for this competition after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the application process.
  • The hours of operation of the e-Grants Web site are 6:00 a.m. Monday until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday; and 6:00 a.m. Thursday until 8:00 p.m. Sunday, Washington, DC time. Please note that, because of maintenance, the system is unavailable between 8:00 p.m. on Sundays and 6:00 a.m. on Mondays, and between 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays and 6:00 a.m. on Thursdays, Washington, DC time. Any modifications to these hours are posted on the e-Grants Web site.
  • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.
  • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: the Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications. You must attach any narrative sections of your application as files in a .DOC (document), .RTF (rich text), or .PDF (Portable Document) format. If you upload a file type other than the three file types specified in this paragraph or submit a password protected file, we will not review that material.
  • Your electronic application must comply with any page limit requirements described in this notice.
  • Prior to submitting your electronic application, you may wish to print a copy of it for your records.
  • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive an automatic acknowledgment that will include a PR/Award number (an identifying number unique to your application).
  • Within three working days after submitting your electronic application, fax a signed copy of the SF 424 to the Application Control Center after following these steps:

(1) Print SF 424 from e-Application.

(2) The applicant's Authorizing Representative must sign this form.

(3) Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the hard-copy signature page of the SF 424.

(4) Fax the signed SF 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 245-6272.

  • We may request that you provide us original signatures on other forms at a later date.

Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of e-Application Unavailability: If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because e-Application is unavailable, we will grant you an extension of one business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery. We will grant this extension if—

(1) You are a registered user of e-Application and you have initiated an electronic application for this competition; and

(2)(a) E-Application is unavailable for 60 minutes or more between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date; or

(b) E-Application is unavailable for any period of time between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

We must acknowledge and confirm these periods of unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this extension or to confirm our acknowledgment of any system unavailability, you may contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in this notice under For Further Information Contact (see VII. Agency Contact) or (2) the e-Grants help desk at 1-888-336-8930. If e-Application is unavailable due to technical problems with the system and, therefore, the application deadline is extended, an e-mail will be sent to all registered users who have initiated an e-Application. Extensions referred to in this section apply only to the unavailability of e-Application.

Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through e-Application because--

  • You do not have access to the Internet; or
  • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to e-Application; and
  • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application. If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

Address and mail or fax your statement to: Lynn Medley, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 6027, Potomac Center Plaza (PCP), Washington, DC 20202-2700. FAX: (202) 245-7338.

Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.133S-1) LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Start Printed Page 1761Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

(1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

(2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

(3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

(4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

(1) A private metered postmark.

(2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

If your application is postmarked after the application deadline date, we will not consider your application.

Note:

The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery.

If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application, by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.133S-1) 550 12th Street, SW., Room 7041, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

(1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

(2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this grant notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

V. Application Review Information

Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition are from 34 CFR 75.210 of EDGAR and are listed in the application package.

VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN). We may notify you informally, also.

If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

3. Reporting: At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multi-year award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to http://www.ed.gov/​fund/​grant/​apply/​appforms/​appforms.html.

4. Performance Measures: To evaluate the overall success of its research program, NIDRR assesses the quality of its funded projects through review of grantee performance and products. Each year, NIDRR examines a portion of its SBIR grantees to determine—

  • The percentage of National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)-funded grant applications that receive an average peer review score of 85 or higher.

NIDRR uses information submitted by grantees as part of their Annual Performance Reports (APRs) for these reviews.

Department of Education program performance reports, which include information on NIDRR programs, are available on the Department's Web site: http://www.ed.gov/​about/​offices/​list/​opepd/​sas/​index.html.

VII. Agency Contact

For Further Information Contact: Lynn Medley, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 6027, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2700. Telephone: (202) 245-7338 or by e-mail: lynn.medley@ed.gov.

If you use a TDD, call the TDD number at (202) 205-4475.

VIII. Other Information

Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or computer diskette) by contacting the Grants and Contracts Services Team, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW., room 5075, PCP, Washington, DC 20202-2550. Telephone: (202) 245-7363. If you use a TDD, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

Electronic Access to This Document: You can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/​news/​fedregister.

To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at this site.

Note:

The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available on GPO Access at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/​nara/​index.html.

Start Signature

Dated: January 8, 2010.

Alexa Posny,

Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. 2010-482 Filed 1-12-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4000-01-P