SBIR Land Home Forums General SBIR/STTR Question Forum Can I use the ‘Fee’ for company’s IP licensing from Univeristy?

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  • #6824
    accunovo
    Participant

    We are a University faculty founded startup, we licensed IP from the University which means we are required to pay the relevant Patents application fee.
    As you know for our SBIR phase 1 budget, we have a 7% fee budget. So can we use this budget to cover the patent fees which belongs to the SBIR project IP licensing from University?

    #6834
    Lu@EGC
    Moderator

    Hi! Yes, you can use your 7% small business fee for IP-related expenses.

    Per NSF guidelines, “Up to 7% of the total indirect and direct project costs may be requested as a fee. The fee is intended to be consistent with normal profit margins provided to profit-making firms for R&D work. The fee applies solely to the small business receiving the award and not to any other participant in the project. The fee is not a direct or indirect “cost” item and may be used by the small business concern for any purpose.”

    #6835
    accunovo
    Participant

    Thank you so much for the swift reply!

    #6836
    Lu@EGC
    Moderator

    You are very welcome! Let us know if you have any other questions.

    #6944
    accunovo
    Participant

    I have 2 further questions regarding this topic.

    1. When can I ask for this amount of fee?
    – Can I ask for it even though I have not spent it yet? Or it has to be the way as reimbursement which has been paid or is to be finished soon?
    – Do I also need spent evidence supporting it? Such as invoices?

    2. And how much can I ask for?
    Can I ask for the full amount of the budget which was made in SBIR/STTR budget? or the percentage of max 7% of the current expense (total)
    Thanks in advance!

    #6955
    Lu@EGC
    Moderator

    For NIH SBIR/STTR program, the fee is collected as direct costs are incurred. As you reimburse yourself for direct costs, you also figure out your indirect based on the direct costs, and then the amount of the fee based on the total direct and indirect. No documentation is needed aside from bookkeeping to support the direct costs spent. Yes, you can ask for the full amount of 7%. Let us know if you have other questions!

    #6956
    accunovo
    Participant

    Thanks for the reply.
    So let’s say my total budget (direct + indirect) is $200,000,
    The budget for the 7% fee of $14,000 (7%*$200,000).
    Now I want to request the fee.
    However, currently, I only spent a total of $50,000 (direct+indirect) for reimbursement,

    1) May I ask for the total $14,000 fee now? or
    2) I can only ask for the 7% of current expense which is 7%*$50,000=$3500 now?

    Thanks a lot!

    #6960
    Leisa@EGC
    Moderator

    Hi. The fee should be drawn as you spend directs/indirects. From the NIH Grants Policy Statement (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/html5/section_18/18.5.4_allowable_costs_and_fee.htm): “The profit or fee should be drawn from PMS in increments proportional to the drawdown of funds for direct and F&A costs.”

    Please let us know if you have any other questions.

    • This reply was modified 2 days, 20 hours ago by Leisa@EGC.
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