The National Cancer Institute (NCI) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program has announced the FY2012 SBIR Phase II Bridge Award, designed to support the next stage of development for previously funded NIH-wide SBIR Phase II projects in the areas of cancer therapeutics, imaging technologies, interventional devices, diagnostics and prognostics. The NCI intends to commit up to $10 million in fiscal year 2012 to fund up to ten new awards.

The Phase II Bridge Award helps to:

  • "Bridge" the funding gap, known as the "Valley of Death," that currently exists between the end of the SBIR Phase II award and the next round of financing needed to advance a promising cancer therapy or imaging technology toward commercialization.
  • Incentivize partnerships between NIH's SBIR Phase II awardees and third-party investors and/or strategic partners.

For information on how to apply, please review the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) at:

Available Funding:

Budgets up to $1 million in total costs per year and project periods up to three years (a total of $3 million) may be requested from the NCI. Development efforts may include pre-clinical R&D needed for regulatory filings (e.g. IND or PMA) or clinical trials.

This FOA will give competitive preference and funding priority to applications deemed likely to result in a commercial product as indicated by the applicant's ability to secure substantial independent third-party investor funds (i.e. third-party funds that equal or exceed the requested NCI funds). Examples of third-party investors include drug or device manufacturers, angel investors, venture capital investors, state investment funds, foundations, and universities. Applicants must provide a commercialization plan, which is expected to include details on any independent third-party investor funding that has already been secured or will be provided during the Bridge Award project period.


  • The SBIR Phase II Bridge Award funding opportunity is open to current and recently expired NIH SBIR Phase II projects.
  • The application must represent a continuation of the R&D efforts performed under a previously funded NIH SBIR Phase II award.
  • Applications may be predicated on a previously funded SBIR Phase II grant or contract award.*
  • To be eligible under the current FOA, Phase II projects MUST end on or before August 31, 2012.
  • In general, past Phase II projects should have ended within 24 months of the application receipt date, although the NCI will consider longer periods of hiatus on a case-by-case basis.

*NOTE: Applicants who intend to submit a Phase II Bridge Award application that is predicated on an SBIR Phase II contract MUST contact the SBIR Development Center prior to submission, so that the NCI can properly arrange for such applications to be accepted.

There are two deadlines to submit an SBIR Phase II Bridge Award application in FY2012: December 28, 2011 & March 27, 2012.

We encourage you to learn more about this opportunity and apply!

Learn about SBIR Phase II Bridge Awardees

Read about current NCI SBIR Bridge Awardees and the cancer technologies they are developing to improve detection and treatment for clinical use.

How to Apply

View online resources and tips for applying that help small businesses prepare their grant applications and contract proposals.

Resources for Small Business Applicants

The SBIR Development Center helps to build relationships with the business community and researchers by supporting small business applicants, and by fostering partnerships and collaborations between small businesses and third-party organizations. If you are interested in discussing your organization's project with NCI Development Center staff to explore how it aligns with NCI's priorities, please contact a Program Director at