SBIR Land Home Forums General SBIR/STTR Question Forum Resource sharing plan

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    If I am developing a new proprietary software for data analysis that cannot be shared without compromising the company’s business model, what can I say to justify not sharing the research tool in the resource sharing plan.


    For both the Resource Sharing Plan and the Data Management and Sharing Plan, NIH understands that some data may be proprietary, particularly for small businesses.

    For more information on the NIH Research Tools Policy, please see:
    For more information on NIH Best Practices for Sharing Research Software, please see:
    For more information on the Data Management and Sharing Plan, please see:

    Specifically: NIH understands that some scientific data generated with NIH funds may be proprietary. Under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Policy Directive, effective May 2, 2019, SBIR and STTR awardees may withhold applicable data for 20 years after the award date, as stipulated in the specific SBIR/STTR funding agreement and consistent with achieving program goals. SBIR and STTR awardees are expected to submit a Data Management & Sharing Plan per DMS Policy requirements.

    Issues related to proprietary data also can arise when co-funding is provided by the private sector (for example, the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industries). NIH recognizes that the extent of data sharing may be limited by restrictions imposed by licensing limitations attached to materials needed to conduct the research. Applicants should discuss projects with proposed collaborators early to avoid agreements that prohibit or unnecessarily restrict data sharing. NIH staff will evaluate the justifications of investigators who believe that they are unable to share data.

    For questions or concerns about data sharing expectations for proprietary data, please contact the Office of Science Policy. Small businesses may wish to contact the NIH SEED Office (

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