Florida State University is currently soliciting business plans for the creation of an independent business enterprise that will help FSU research faculty identify, compete for, and perform development projects funded under the Small Business Technology Transfer program (STTR), the Small Business Innovation Research program (SBIR) and other related programs.
The successful candidate will have a demonstrated knowledge of FSU research strengths, faculty expertise, and current research centers and institutes. The projects developed as a result of this initiative will directly contribute to the creation of commercial products that are needed in the economy.
To encourage the creation of this new business enterprise, the FSU Research Foundation anticipates offering a non-recourse line of credit that is consistent with the organization’s proposed business plan, to be fully repaid as proposed in that business plan, beginning no later than January 2019 and completing no later than December 2023. Funds advanced will earn interest at two percent above the federal funds rate, computed annually. Continued availability of funds will be contingent on an annual review that demonstrates successful operation of the enterprise as projected in its established plan. Requests for funds beyond the initially approved level will require FSURF approval of a revised plan that demonstrates the need and value of such an increase.
To be considered, an enterprise must submit a plan to achieve at least the goals that are set out in Attachment A, below. The plan should describe the enterprise’s intended structure, its governance, management qualifications, dependencies, business strategy and financial projections at a level of detail that would satisfy the expectations of STTR phase II reviewers. The plan should be submitted to the Florida State University Research Foundation, Attn: Dr. Gary K. Ostrander, President. Reviews of submitted plans will begin Nov 12, 2013. Questions about this opportunity may be directed to Jack Sams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-645-0048.
Initial availability of funds will be concurrent with legal establishment of the enterprise and FSURF acceptance of the submitted plan. FSURF will also provide a letter to the enterprise, in the form required for STTR proposals, confirming its ability and intent to provide those FSU and FSURF resources and facilities that may be offered to the enterprise from time to time through FSURF approved research or service subcontract proposals.
It is expected that the enterprise will offer opportunities to FSU faculty and staff in support of its proposals and business goals. Upon approval of a funding plan, FSURF will circulate approved outside participation terms through appropriate channels, and will encourage faculty participation.
It is anticipated that the new enterprise will be granted IP usage rights and IP option rights consistent with federally suggested terms for STTR & SBIR collaborations between Universities and small businesses which receive grants under that program. These small business rights will be conveyed to the new enterprise in a master agreement, which supports each new project where FSURF becomes a subcontractor.
It is also expected that each project involving FSU competencies will result in the introduction of new products or services that meet the sponsors’ expectations; and, that those products will be delivered by new companies or existing companies that license FSURF IP and that employ graduates whose skills and knowledge contribute to project success. FSURF’s established obligation to share net income received from such products has to be protected, and the new enterprise’s plan for distributing royalties, licensing income and capital gains to FSURF must be addressed in the organization’s approved operating plan.
Attachment A: Capabilities and Modes of Operation to be displayed by the supported enterprise
- An office in Tallahassee that is convenient and efficient for interactions with local participants, staffed by knowledgeable employees who have immediate access to all other staff, collaborators, and project records.
- One or more principals with current and effective agency contacts, who establish and maintain regular communication with all parties about current proposals and future needs in FSU competency areas.
- A business structure that encourages broad collaboration and joint venturing among researchers, institutions and businesses that have needed skills and resources in a given competency area.
- An ability to screen all small business solicitations for topics within FSU’s competency, within 30 days of the release of each solicitation.
- A process to identify and obtain collaboration of an FSU PI or co-PI for most topics of interest,.
- The capability to successfully initiate and manage at least three Phase One STTR or SBIR proposal submissions per calendar quarter within the first year of operation
- The capability to successfully initiate and manage at least one Phase Two proposal per quarter during the second year of operation.
- A mechanism to attract and temporarily engage supporting staff, capabilities, and facilities as needed to perform the work required of the proposing small business under each award, across a wide range of technologies and within program limits on subcontracting.
- A mechanism to engage University faculty in preparing proposals and performing awarded efforts, both within and beyond the bounds of subcontracts.
- A legal and operational structure that provides a combination of taxable current income for services as they are provided and tax deferred participation in profits and/or tax deferred capital appreciation for individuals and entities who participate in the success of completed projects. Cash positive operation within five years, based on average award ratios for the proposal stream that is assumed in the FSURF approved business plan.