FR Doc 03-8130
[Federal Register: April 3, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 64)]
[Page 16271-16274]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

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[CFDA Nos. 84.133S and 84.017S]

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) 
and the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE); Small Business 
Innovation Research (SBIR) Program--Phase I Notice Inviting Grant 
Applications for New Awards for Fiscal Year (FY) 2003

    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 Department of 
Education (ED) supported research results, and improve the return on 
investment from Federally-funded research for economic and social 
benefits to the Nation.
    For FY 2003, we encourage applicants to present activities that 
focus on the invitational priorities in the Priorities section of this 
application notice.
    Eligible Applicants: Each organization submitting an application 
must qualify as a small business concern as defined by the Small 
Business Administration (SBA) at the time of the award. This definition 
is included in the application package.
    Firms with strong research capabilities in educational and 
assistive technologies, science, or engineering in any of the priority 
areas listed are encouraged to participate. Consultative or other 
arrangements between these firms and universities or other non-profit 
organizations are permitted, but the small business must serve as the 
    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.
    Applications Available: April 3, 2003.
    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 3, 2003.
    Estimated Available Funds: Up to $4,176,000 for new Phase I awards.
    The estimated amount of funds available for new Phase I awards is 
based upon the estimated threshold SBIR allocation for OSERS and OPE, 
minus prior commitments for Phase II continuation awards. The actual 
funds available could be less, should an office make any new Phase II 
awards in FY 2003.
    Estimated Average Size of Awards: Up to $75,000 for Priority 1 and 
$60,000 for Priority 2.
    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a 
budget exceeding $75,000 for Priority 1 or $60,000 for Priority 2 for a 
project period of up to 6 months.
    Estimated Number of Awards: 25.

    Note: The Department is not bound by any estimates in this 

    Project Period: Up to 6 months.
    Page Limits: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, 
address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your 
application. You must limit your application narrative to the 
equivalent of no more than 25 pages, excluding any documentation of 
prior multiple Phase II awards, if applicable; and required forms. The 
following standards should be used:
    [sbull] A ``page'' is 8.5'' x 11'', on one side only, with 1'' 
margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.
    [sbull] Single space all text in the application narrative, 
including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and 
captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.
    [sbull] Use a font that is either 12-point or larger or no smaller 
that 10 pitch (characters per inch). Standard black type should be used 
to permit photocopying.
    [sbull] Draw all graphs, diagrams, tables, and charts in black ink. 
Do not include glossy photographs or materials that cannot be 
photocopied in the body of the application.
    The application package will provide instructions for completing 
all components to be included in the application. Each application must 
include an application cover sheet (ED Standard Form 424); budget 
requirements (ED Form 524) and other required forms; an abstract, 
certifications, and statements; a technical content project narrative; 
and related application(s) or award(s) and documentation of multiple 
Phase II awards, if applicable.
    We will reject your application if--
    [sbull] You apply these standards and exceed the page limit; or
    [sbull] You apply other standards and exceed the equivalent of the 
page limit.

Applicable Statutes and Regulations

    (a) Statutes. The Small Business Reauthorization Act of 2000, Pub. 
L. 106-554 (15 U.S.C. 631 and 638); Title

[[Page 16272]]

II of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Pub. L. 105-220 (29 
U.S.C. 760-764); Title VI, Section 605 of the Higher Education Act, as 
amended (20 U.S.C 1125).
    (b) Regulations--General Applicability. The Education Department 
General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 74, 75, 77, 
81, 82, 85, 97, and 98.
    Note on Peer Review Procedures: OSERS and OPE will apply 
requirements that are contained in 29 U.S.C. 760 and 762(f).


    For FY 2003, we have selected 7 invitational priorities for the 
SBIR program. SBIR projects are encouraged to look to the future by 
exploring uses of technology to ensure equal access to education and 
promote educational excellence throughout the Nation.
    The application package will include a number of examples to 
illustrate the kinds of activities that could be funded under each 
priority. Specific examples are listed only as examples of advanced 
applications or basic research of interest to us, and they are not to 
be interpreted as exclusive. We intend to provide sufficient 
flexibility to obtain the greatest degree of creativity and innovation 
possible, consistent with overall SBIR and ED program objectives.
    An application must be limited to one priority listed in this 
notice. When an application is relevant to more than one priority, the 
applicant must decide which priority is most relevant and submit it 
under that priority only. However, there is no limitation on the number 
of different applications that an applicant may submit under this 
competition, even to the same priority. A firm may submit separate 
applications on different priorities, or different applications on the 
same priority, but each application should respond to only one 
priority. Duplicate applications will be returned without review.

Invitational Priorities

    We are particularly interested in applications that meet one of the 
following priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(1) we do not give an 
application that meets one of these priorities a competitive or 
absolute preference over other applications.

CFDA Number 84.133S: The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative 
Services (OSERS)

    Priority 1--This priority supports research to develop methods, 
procedures, and rehabilitation technology that maximize the full 
inclusion and integration into society, employment, independent living, 
family support, and economic and social self-sufficiency of individuals 
with disabilities, especially individuals with the most significant 
disabilities; or improve the effectiveness of services authorized under 
the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
    The following six invitational priorities relate to innovative 
research utilizing new technologies (including nanotechnologies and 
biotechnologies) to address the needs of individuals with disabilities 
and their families.
    Invitational Priority 1--Development of Technology to Support 
Access or Promote Integration of Individuals with Disabilities in the 
Community, Workplace, or Educational Setting.
    Invitational Priority 2--Development of Technology to Enhance 
Sensory or Motor Function of Individuals with Disabilities.
    Invitational Priority 3--Development of Technology to Improve 
School to Work Transition and Employment Outcomes for Individuals with 
    Invitational Priority 4--Development of Technology to Promote 
Community Integration or Support Independent Living for Individuals 
with Disabilities.
    Invitational Priority 5--Development of Technology to Support Early 
Intervention for Infants, Toddlers, and Small Children.
    Invitational Priority 6--Development of Technology to Support 
Service Delivery, Training, or Evaluation of Interventions in the 
Clinical or Community-Based Rehabilitation Settings.

CFDA Number 84.017S: The Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE)

    Priority 2--This priority supports research that contributes to 
achieving the purposes of part A of Title VI of the Higher Education 
Act--International Education Program.
    Invitational Priority 7--Development of Interactive CD-ROMs in the 
Pashto and Farsi (Iranian) Languages with Glossaries, for use in Multi-
Platforms (e.g., PC, Mac) at the 1 to 1+ Proficiency Levels according 
to the ACTFL-ILR Proficiency Scales. The language materials must 
include items drawn from native speakers and from mass information 
media, including recent events and authentic cultural materials. The 
overall objective would be the creation of highly practical 
communicative instruments for the two languages.
    Selection Criteria: Under 34 CFR 75.210, we use the following 
selection criteria to evaluate applications for new grants under this 
competition. The maximum score for all of these criteria is 100 points. 
The maximum score for each criterion is indicated in parentheses.
    (a) Significance (25 points).
    (b) Quality of the Project Design (50 points).
    (c) Quality of Project Personnel (15 points).
    (d) Adequacy of Resources (10 points).
    We will make awards based upon these selection criteria and the 
availability of funds. In the evaluation and handling of applications, 
we will make every effort to protect the confidentiality of the 
application and any evaluations.

Application Procedures

    The Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA) of 1998, (Pub. L. 
105-277) and the Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement 
Act of 1999, (Pub. L. 106-107) encourage us to undertake initiatives to 
improve our grant processes. Enhancing the ability of individuals and 
entities to conduct business with us electronically is a major part of 
our response to these Acts. Therefore, we are taking steps to adopt the 
Internet as our chief means of conducting transactions in order to 
improve services to our customers and to simplify and expedite our 
business processes.

    Note: Some of the procedures in these instructions for 
transmitting applications differ from those in the Education 
Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) (34 CFR 
75.102). Under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553) the 
Department generally offers interested parties the opportunity to 
comment on proposed regulations. However, these amendments make 
procedural changes only and do not establish new substantive policy. 
Therefore, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A), the Secretary has determined 
that proposed rulemaking is not required.

    We are requiring that applications for grants for FY 2003 under 
Phase I SBIR program be submitted electronically using e-Application 
available through the Education Department's e-GRANTS system. The e-
GRANTS system is accessible through its portal page at:
    Applicants who are unable to submit an application through the e-
GRANTS system may apply for a waiver to the electronic submission 
requirement. To apply for a waiver, applicants must explain the reason 
or reasons that prevent them from using the Internet to submit their 
applications. The reasons must be outlined in a letter addressed to: 
Priority 1: Kristi Wilson, Office of Special Education and 

[[Page 16273]]

Services, U.S. Department of Education, 330 ``C'' Street, SW., room 
3433--MES, Washington, DC 20202-2704; and, for Priority 2: Jos[eacute] 
Martinez, Office of Postsecondary Education, U.S. Department of 
Education, 1990 K Street, NW., room 6016, Washington, DC 20006-8521. We 
must receive your letter no later than two weeks before the closing 
    Any application that receives a waiver to the electronic submission 
requirement will be given the same consideration in the review process 
as an electronic application.

Pilot Project for Electronic Submission of Applications

    In FY 2003, the U.S. Department of Education is continuing to 
expand its pilot project for electronic submission of applications to 
include additional formula grant programs and additional discretionary 
grant competitions. The FY 2003 Phase I SBIR program [CFDA 84.133S and 
84.017S] is one of the programs included in the pilot project. If you 
are an applicant under the Phase I SBIR program, you must submit your 
application to us in electronic format or receive a waiver.
    The pilot project involves the use of the Electronic Grant 
Application System (e-Application). Users of e-Application will be 
entering data on-line while completing their applications. You may not 
e-mail a soft copy of a grant application to us. The data you enter on-
line will be saved into a database. We request your participation in e-
Application. We shall continue to evaluate its success and solicit 
suggestions for improvement.
    If you participate in e-Application, please note the following:
    [sbull] You will not receive additional point value because you 
submit a grant application in electronic format, nor will we penalize 
you if you submit an application in paper format. (Submission of 
applications in paper format is only acceptable if a waiver is granted 
as described above.) When you enter the e-Application system, you will 
find information about its hours of operation.
    [sbull] You must submit all documents electronically, including the 
Application for Federal Education Assistance (ED 424), Budget 
Information--Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary 
assurances and certifications.
    [sbull] After you electronically submit your application, you will 
receive an automatic acknowledgement, which will include a PR/Award 
number (an identifying number unique to your application).
    [sbull] Within three working days after submitting your electronic 
application, fax a signed copy of the Application for Federal Education 
Assistance (ED 424) to the Application Control Center after following 
these steps:
    1. Print ED 424 from e-Application.
    2. The institution's Authorizing Representative must sign this 
    3. Place the PR/Award number in the upper right hand corner of the 
hard copy signature page of the ED 424.
    4. Fax the signed ED 424 to the Application Control Center at (202) 
    [sbull] We may request that you give us original signatures on all 
other forms at a later date.
    [sbull] Closing Date Extension in Case of System Unavailability: If 
you are prevented from submitting your application on the closing date 
because the e-Application system is unavailable, we will grant you an 
extension of one business day in order to transmit your application 
electronically, by mail, or by hand delivery. For us to grant this 
    1. You must be a registered user of e-Application, and have 
initiated an e-Application for this competition; and
    2. (a) The e-Application system must be unavailable for 60 minutes 
or more between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC 
time, on the deadline date; or
    (b) The e-Application system must be unavailable for any period of 
time during the last hour of operation (that is, for any period of time 
between 3:30 and 4:30 p.m., Washington, DC time) on the deadline date.
    The Department must acknowledge and confirm these periods of 
unavailability before granting you an extension. To request this 
extension you must contact either (1) the person listed elsewhere in 
this notice under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT or (2) the e-GRANTS 
help desk at 1-888-336-8930.
    We have included additional information about the e-Application 
pilot project (see Parity Guidelines between Paper and Electronic 
Applications) in the application package.



    The Small Business Reauthorization Act (the ``Act'') of 2000 was 
enacted on December 21, 2000. The Act requires certain agencies, 
including the Department of Education, to establish SBIR programs by 
reserving a statutory percentage of their extramural research and 
development budgets to be awarded to small business concerns for 
research or R&D through a uniform, highly competitive three-phase 
    The three phases of the SBIR program are:
    Phase I: Phase I is to determine, insofar as possible, the 
scientific or technical merit and feasibility of ideas submitted under 
the SBIR program. The application should concentrate on research that 
will significantly contribute to proving the scientific or technical 
feasibility of the approach or concept and that would be prerequisite 
to further ED support in Phase II.
    Phase II: Phase II is to expand on the results of and to further 
pursue the development of Phase I projects. Phase II is the principal 
research or R&D effort. It requires a more comprehensive application, 
outlining the effort in detail including the commercial potential. 
Phase II applicants must be Phase I awardees with approaches that 
appear sufficiently promising as a result of Phase I. Awards are for 
periods up to 2 years in amounts up to $500,000 for Priority 1 awardees 
and $300,000 for Priority 2 awardees.
    Phase III: In Phase III, the small business must use non-SBIR 
capital to pursue commercial applications of the research or research 
and development. Also, under Phase III, Federal agencies may award non-
SBIR follow-on funding for products or processes that meet the needs of 
those agencies.

For Applications and Further Information Contact: For General 
Information: Lee Eiden, U.S. Department of Education, 555 New Jersey 
Avenue, NW., room 508D, Washington, DC 20208-5644. Telephone (202) 219-
2004 or via Internet:    For Priority 1 (OSERS): Kristi Wilson, U.S. Department of 
Education, 330 ``C'' Street, SW., room 3433, Washington, DC 20202-2572. 
Telephone (202) 260-0988 or via Internet:    For Priority 2 (OPE): Jos[eacute] Martinez, U.S. Department of 
Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW., room 6016, 1990 K Street, NW., 
Washington, DC 20006-8521. Telephone (202) 502-7635 or via Internet:    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD), you may 
call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternative format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to either of the program contact persons listed 
under For Applications and Further Information Contact.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain a copy of the application 

[[Page 16274]]

in an alternative format by contacting one of the contact persons 
listed under For Applications and Further Information Contact. However, 
the Department is not able to reproduce in an alternative format the 
standard forms included in the application package.

Electronic Access to This Document

    You may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe 
Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site:
    To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available 
free at this site. If you have questions about using PDF, call the U.S. 
Government Printing Office (GPO), toll free, at 1-888-293-6498; or in 
the Washington, DC area at (202) 512-1530.

    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 the GPO Access at:

    Program Authority: Pub. L. 106-554 (The Small Business 
Reauthorization Act of 2000); Pub. L. 105-220 (Title II of the 
Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, Title VI of the Higher 
Education Act).

    Dated: March 31, 2003.
Robert H. Pasternack,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
Sally L. Stroup,
Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education.
[FR Doc. 03-8130 Filed 4-2-03; 8:45 am]