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Niche Assessment

Niche Assessment Program – For HHS SBIR/STTR Phase I Awardees

Niche Assessment Program – For NIH SBIR/STTR Phase I Awardee's Logo


Additional Technical Assistance information will be available prior to Fall 2020. 

The Niche Assessment Program is designed to help small businesses “jump start” their commercialization efforts. All active HHS (NIH, CDC, FDA) SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees and Phase I Fast-Track awardees (by grant or contract) are eligible to apply. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis!

The Niche Assessment Program provides market insight and data that can be used to help small businesses strategically position their technology in the marketplace. The results of this program can help small businesses develop their commercialization plans for their Phase II application and be exposed to potential partners. Services are provided by Foresight Science & Technology (Foresight) of Providence, RI.

Technology Niche Analyses® (TNA®) are provided by Foresight, for two hundred (200), HHS SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees. These analyses assess potential applications for a technology and then for one viable application, it provides an assessment of the:

  1. Needs and concerns of end-users;
  2. Competing technologies and competing products;
  3. Competitive advantage of the SBIR/STTR-developed technology;
  4. Market size and potential market share (may include national and/or global markets);
  5. Barriers to market entry (may include but is not limited to pricing, competition, government regulations, manufacturing challenges, capital requirements, etc.);
  6. Market drivers;
  7. Status of market and industry trends;
  8. Potential customers, licensees, investors, or other commercialization partners; and,
  9. The price customers are likely to pay.

Each participant receives an in-depth report of Foresight's findings. Oftentimes the small businesses can use this information in their commercialization plans which are part of their Phase II applications.

The analysis has three steps:

(1) In the first step, Foresight will gather the pertinent information needed from the SBIR/STTR awardee to identify feasible applications of the technology. Often times, several non-obvious uses are found, and such secondary applications may provide a path to market that is faster than the primary biomedical use.
(2) In the second step, Foresight will analyze the selected use of the technology to determine the end-user needs, current and emerging competing technologies, market dynamics, socio-economic trends and market drivers, and to quantify the market size and participant's possible share. This second step determines the technology's current competitive advantages and how to improve competitiveness.
(3) In the third step, Foresight will recommend a market entry strategy. This strategy includes how to market the technology to end-users, how to obtain outside partners, and also projects revenues for the technology. Likely lead customers, testing centers, suppliers, manufacturers, and/or other relevant organizations interested in participating in the downstream research as beta testers or concurrent engineering advisors will be identified.

For more information, see Notice NOT-OD-20-030 that was issued in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on November 27, 2019.


For assistance regarding the online set-up form, please contact:
Ms. Paula Williams
Project Coordinator
Foresight Science & Technology
Telephone: (401) 273-4844, ext. 4001
Fax:  (401) 354-1301

Specific questions about TNA's may be directed to:
Konstantin Izvolsky, PhD.
Director of Consulting and Training
Foresight Science & Technology
Telephone: (401) 273-4844, ext. 4003

General questions about Niche Assessment Program may be directed to:
Robert Vinson 
Program Manager
Office of Extramural Programs
Phone: (301) 435-2713