Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What is CCAT?
CCAT began operations in July 2001 and is a technology commercialization program funded initially by Congress through the Office of Naval Research. In 2008 and 2010, CCAT received additional sponsorships from the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security affairs and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, respectively. CCAT's mission is to identify new innovative solutions for critical national defense, Homeland Security and first responder requirements. The primary objective is to fast-track the commercialization and transition of these technological solutions into the hands of the military, first responders, and other government agencies.
- 2. How does CCAT discover new innovative technologies for critical DoD/DHS needs?
CCAT works closely with its sponsors (DOD, DHS, etc) to identify priority requirements. Once defined, CCAT sponsors national solicitations inviting companies, government laboratories, and academic research organizations to submit proposals for evaluation that offer technical solutions to these requirements. Each proposal is competitively evaluated. Companies/organizations with the most promising technologies are offered customized awards and services designed to accelerate the commercialization process.
- 3. How does CCAT differ from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program?
The SBIR program funds the research and development of new technologies for various government agencies. The government provides funding for SBIR phases I and II which takes the technology from proof of concept (Phase I) to prototype (Phase II). The SBIR program is not intended to fund commercialization (Phase III) of the technology. In most cases, it is the company's responsibility to secure the additional funding and organizational development to reach final commercialization. CCAT does not fund research and development of new technologies. Rather, CCAT focuses on working with mature technologies (proven prototypes in a relevant environment) to get them into the marketplace. A good analogy is that CCAT provides the bridge between a technology's development and the marketplace.
- 4. What services does CCAT offer?
For promising mature technologies that successfully compete in CCAT's national solicitations, customized programs of awards and services are designed for each. Great emphasis is placed on performing market research, strategic business planning, developing strategic partnerships, mentoring, introductions to venture and angel investment opportunities, and funding for test, evaluation, and technology validation, among other services. In addition to these service, CCAT provides funding for technology integration, test and evaluation.
- 5. What is involved in the solicitation, selection, and award process?
The CCAT solicitation, review, evaluation, and selection process is an accelerated, multi-stage effort as follows:
- CCAT conducts periodic nationwide solicitations seeking technologies that address government-defined priority requirements. These are defined in the solicitation documents along with other pertinent selection criteria. The information including the actual application document is posted on the CCAT website and open for usually a 30-day period. All applications are submitted electronically.
- Each application is initially reviewed by the CCAT team for compliance with the solicitation technical requirements. Non-compliant submissions will be rejected and the applicant notified of the reasons for removal from the list of eligible applications.
- Compliant applications are then evaluated by a team of at least 5 subject matter experts (SME) including representatives from the scientific, business, and investment communities. Key criteria include technical maturity, market potential, business viability, relevance to a DoD/DHS requirement, and other attributes collectively intended to identify the most viable candidates for CCAT services.
- From the independent SME evaluations, the most viable candidates are invited to present their technology and commercialization strategy to a panel of experts, similar to the SME team. This panel focuses more on the market and business viability of the technology and the company (applicant). In addition to scoring each of the presenters, the panel identifies areas requiring due diligence as well as a suggested list of services to be provided if selected.
- The due diligence effort is then performed by the CCAT staff with assistance of supporting organizations and the tentative awardees. Once all concerns are resolved, a final list of awardees is prepared for approval by the sponsoring agency (DoD, DHS, etc) and the applicants informed.
- The final stage is the preparation of an initial commercialization strategy, list of awards and services, and any special documents such as subcontracts, confidentiality agreements, etc.
- From closing of the 30-day solicitation, the review, evaluation and award process takes about 60 to 90 days.
- 6. Who is involved on the CCAT team?
In addition to representatives from the respective government program sponsors (i.e., the Office of Naval Research, Office of Secretary of Defense from Homeland Defense, and the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology), the principal CCAT partners are:
- San Diego State University (College of Business Administration, Entrepreneurial Management Center, and Research Foundation)
- SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific)
Other key players include (see the About Us page for a complete listing):
- Tech Coast Angels
Over 150 independent entrepreneurs, scientists, technologist, and investors serving as advisors, mentors and evaluators
- 7. Who can apply for consideration of CCAT awards and services?
CCAT invites companies, academic research organizations and government laboratories with technology solutions addressing requirements as specified in the solicitation to apply. What is important is that the applicants meet the criteria specified in the solicitation; such as maturity of the technology -- developed to at least Technology Readiness Level 6 (prototype developed and proven in relevant environment), source of development funding – private, DoD awards, etc.
- 8. What is CCAT's track record?
Between July 2001 and December 2009, CCAT achieved the following:
- Conducted 31 national solicitations and evaluated approximately 881 applications from industry, academic research institutions, and government laboratories nationwide.
- Facilitated the advanced development of 119 technologies with commercialization awards valued at over $23.3 million including funding of 106 product development awards, 116 market studies and business plans with concurrent consulting support (e.g., mentors, entrepreneurs, interns, venture networking, etc.), and other technology products demonstration and marketing showcase opportunities.
- Leveraged CCAT funding and services for 55 clients into $211.9 million of product sales, 3rd party investments, and mergers/acquisitions.
- Achieved overall success rate of 51.4% with 55 of 107 clients achieving product sales, 3rd party funding, licenses, and/or acquisition/mergers/partnerships within 24 months of completing the CCAT Program. (Approximately 12 technologies are still receiving services or are within the post 24-month performance period as of June 30, 2010.)
- 9. What is the 1401 program?
In 2008, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs provided funding to CCAT to help them facilitate the transition of DoD funded technologies to the first responder community. Congress in 2004 included provisions in the Defense Authorization Bill a requirement for DoD to work with Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice to help the first responders deal with man-made and natural disasters. CCAT has since conducted 2 solicitations and provided funding and services for 6 technologies. One technology is being used by Border Security operations. Other technologies are currently in development for test and evaluation in September 2010.
- 10. How does the 1401 Program differ from the original CCAT Program?
There is no significant difference in the two programs. Fundamentally, the solicitation, awards, and services are effectively the same. In addition to specifying the technology focus areas for the solicitations, the government representatives do approve the final award selections based on the recommendations of the CCAT staff and participate in other program activities such as test and evaluations. The amount of the awards for the 1401 program are limited, however, and aimed at funding technology integration, test and evaluation as opposed to development. Technology maturity, therefore, is a key criteria for selection of awardees.
- 11. Can an applicant apply for more than one award from the same solicitation or from multiple CCAT solicitations for the different programs?
An applicant must meet the solicitation criteria specified in the solicitation for each of the separate programs. Multiple awards under the same solicitation are allowed provided that the technologies being supported are different. Multiple awards under different solicitations are also allowed provided that the work being performed under each award is significantly different so that the the government does not pay twice for the same effort. Each application, regardless of the solicitation, is evaluated on its own merits and against the solicitation criteria.
- 12. Does the CCAT Program take any ownership in the intellectual property of its clients?
CCAT does NOT require or accept equity in any client technology. However, the funding provided to the company is federal dollars and as such the government may have certain rights such as a worldwide royalty free license to use the technology for any new invention or first reduction to practice of a technology resulting from the funding provided. The CCAT team will explain these requirements as part of the pre-award contract negotiations for selected awardees.
- 13. How does CCAT protect proprietary or business sensitive information provided in an application or in a subsequent award?
In general, CCAT asks that applicants do not disclose proprietary or business sensitive information in their applications or presentations to the review panels. However, when necessary, CCAT staff and reviewers/evaluators sign a non-disclosure agreement and/or a conflict of interest statement to safeguard sensitive information. For all awards, the key participants from the CCAT team do exercise a non-disclosure agreement with the awardee. In addition, all final reports, studies, etc. are reviewed by the clients prior to publication and distribution to allow the clients an opportunity to identify information that they may want to protect.
- 14. Where can I go for additional information or assistance?
For additional information or assistance, please email the CCAT San Diego Program Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.