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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program


Inception & Purpose

To encourage and assist domestic SMEs to engage in active technology research and innovation or product development, Since 1999 the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program has been launched in accordance with the "Regulations for Helping to Subsidize and Guide Industrial Innovation Activities by the MOEA." Through grants and subsidies provided by SBIR, the risks and costs borne by SMEs engaging in innovation and R&D activities will be reduced. The program encourages SMEs to carry out active innovation and helps expand private-sector investment in R&D so that the results and achievements will help the country further its economic development.

Project Characteristic

There are two categories of SBIR plans:

  • Innovative Technologies
    Innovative research in technologies or product indicators in the proposal should be innovative or have the potential to raise technical standards in Taiwan industries.
  • Innovative Services
    Facilitates the creation, distribution and value adding of innovative for industrial development, as well as the establishment of service platforms, systems or models of core knowledge. Demand-oriented, driving innovative business models and creating new service industries and demonstrate creative designs or digital contents with technological know-how and intelligent value through the integration and innovative application of technologies.

The application process involves three phases:

  • Pilot Study/Preliminary Planning (Phase 1)NT $1mn maximum governmental subsidy for 6 months
    A small-scale experiment or statistical analysis of the creative concept that can potentially benefit industries so as to validate that concept as being viable. Applicants must describe the key problems addressed, the creative concept they intend to use, anticipated benefits to industries, as well as relative R&D track records and implementation plans.
  • R&D/Detailed Planning (Phase 2)
    NT $10mn maximum governmental subsidy for 2 years
    R&D of a product, production method or service mechanism based on a tangible and feasible creative concept expected to benefit industries. The R&D of a production method can extend to the trial production or ramp-up stage. Applicants must describe the key problems addressed, the creative concept they intend to use, anticipated benefits to industries, as well as relative R&D track records and implementation plans. 
  • Value-Added Applications (Phase 2+)
    NT $5mn maximum governmental subsidy for 1 year

This involves the implementation and wide application of R&D results in Phase 2 so as to meet market and customer demand. The focus of R&D extends from the emphasis on the design of technical innovations to the production of the technical application. They may include engineering techniques, moulding development techniques, product design, trial production and ramp-up techniques, or primary market surveys. Applicants must describe the application of the developed technique, feasible implementation, commercialization target and expected benefits.

Application Criteria

To apply for funding support under the SBIR plan, an enterprise must conform to the following criteria:

  1. Sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited partnerships, or companies which are legally registered and incorporated in the R.O.C. in accordance with the "Standards for Identifying Small and Medium-sized Enterprises" that meet the following criteria.
    *Capitalization below NT$100mn or with less than 200 employees covered by labour insurance.
  2. It must owe no back taxes to the government, and must have no record of contract cancellation when participating in government-related technology development plans over the past five years.
  3. In the case of R&D alliance applications, the applicant must be a SME; however, the application may be submitted jointly with a university or college, foundation, or other domestic or foreign organization. At least 60% of the members of the alliance must be SMEs.
  4. The Regulations are only applicable to new R&D programs for companies. Technologies or products for which development is completed shall be barred from the application and the applicant may not apply for other government project subsidy or grant for an identical or similar project.
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