‘SBIR/STTR Due Diligence Policy and Implementation Guidance Established by Hicks’

Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks has signed a memorandum to establish policy and provide implementation guidance for the Defense Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Due Diligence Program. The goal of this program is to mitigate security risks when small business concerns with ties to any foreign country of concern seek SBIR/STTR funding.

Under the Department of Defense policy, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD(R&E)) ensures consistent application of common minimum standards across all DoD services and components making SBIR/STTR awards to small businesses. The Defense SBIR/STTR Program oversees the establishment and implementation of SBIR/STTR Due Diligence Programs by DoD services and components.

Gina Sims, Director of the Defense SBIR/STTR Program, expressed the value of innovations and technologies derived from small business concerns that enhance warfighter capabilities. The program will work closely with R&E leadership and DoD services and components to implement the plan to protect taxpayer funds and small businesses from foreign influence.

Defense SBIR/STTR Program has collaborated with services, components, and key stakeholders to plan the rollout of the Due Diligence Program. Proposals submitted to the Defense SBIR/STTR Innovation Portal must now include forms to assess security risks – non-compliant proposals will not be evaluated.

To support small businesses, the department has introduced an online course on foreign ownership, control, or influence (FOCI). This course explains the issue, defines what being under FOCI means, and details its effect on a company seeking a SBIR/STTR award.

As the Due Diligence Program policy and implementation guidance are strengthened, small businesses are assured of the necessary support to ensure success. To sign up for the FOCI course and for more information on the Defense SBIR/STTR Program, visit their website or follow their LinkedIn page.