SBIR/STTR Grant Programs
The Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program are three-phase, competitive grant programs, investing more than $2.2 billion of federal research funds in small businesses. Eleven federal agencies participate in SBIR; six of these also participate in STTR.
These programs are designed to stimulate small business technological innovation and cutting-edge research that addresses the nation’s most critical scientific and engineering needs, and to provide incentive to profit from its commercialization.
TO BE ELIGIBLE BUSINESSES MUST BE
- American owned and independently operated
- 500 employees or less
- Eligibility Criteria Application Form (PDF)
Three Phases OF SBIR/STTR
(The first two phases are funded through federal grants)
- Feasibility study
- Up to $150,000 per award
- Six-month time-frame
- Principal R&D effort
- Builds on Phase I funding (must receive Phase I to apply for Phase II)
- Up to $1,000,000 per award
- Two-year time frame
- Commercialization of the Phase II results
- Moves the innovation from laboratory to marketplace
- No federal funding provided
- NBDC can help!
Differences between SBIR and STTR
- STTR is a partnership between a small business and a research institution
- For SBIR, the principal researcher must be employed by the small business more than half-time
- For STTR, a formal agreement between the small business and research institution is required, minimum 40% small business, minimum 30% research institution
Due Dates and Special Requirements
Every agency has different solicitation dates and requirements. It is essential that the solicitation is read and closely followed. Many agencies require on-line submittal, which takes time.
Scientific and technical quality and innovativeness of the idea, plus significance of the scientific or technical challenge are keys to success. Additionally, the qualifications of the main researcher, key personnel, adequacy of facilities and equipment and soundness of the work plan are all critical.
Many agencies are focusing more on funding projects that will lead to a marketable product, especially for Phase II awards.