What is SBIR?
The Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program has seed money available for small research and development firms who are able to offer innovative solutions to a variety of challenges faced the federal government.
You can learn more HERE.
What is STTR?
The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program fosters partnerships between research institutions and small businesses.
You can learn more HERE.
Who is eligible for the program?
The program is open to small businesses who are owned by a US resident and who are set up as for-profit. The business must have less than 500 employees, including all affiliates.
Learn more HERE.
What is a Principal Investigator?
The Principal Investigator (PI) is the key innovator involved with an SBIR/STTR proposal. They must be employed with the business at the time of award and have the expertise to bring the project to fruition.
How much funding is available?
Funding varies from agency to agency, but generally a Phase I contract or grant is for a 6 - 12 month time period, and up to $225, 000 in funding. Phase II awards can be for up to 24 months and $1 million in funding.
Want to know more?
Visit SBIR.gov or contact your local SBDC or PTAC Center.
Research your idea - has it been attempted before? What are the costs needed to bring it to commercialization?
Participating Federal Agencies
Twelve federal entities participate in the SBIR program. Five of those participate in STTR.
Eleven of the participants post topics throughout the year. You are invited to submit proposals with solutions or suggestions to these topics.
Eight Federal Departments
Homeland Security (DHS)
Commerce (NOAA or NIST)
Health and Human Services (HHS)
Three Independent Agencies
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The Small Business Administration is the lead agency for the SBIR/STTR programs. They do not post topics.
About Topic Releases
Agencies release Topics on a regular basis throughout the year. You will respond to those releases with your proposed solution.
A direct link to current solicitations can be found HERE.
Washington State by the Numbers
Below are recent numbers from the SBA regarding Washington State SBIR and STTR awards
Other Avenues for Innovators
Although the SBIR/STTR programs are the best known, federal agencies can utilize other methods of working with innovators:
OTAs- Other Transaction Agreements (OTA) are special procurement vehicles used by federal agencies for obtaining or advancing research and development (R&D) or prototypes.
You may be able to find postings on beta.SAM.gov under R&D NAICS codes 541712, 541714, 541715.
DARPA - You can also find notices from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that relate to new innovative products for national defense.
These notices are posted as Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) that formally solicit proposals tied to program-specific areas of research and development. You can find the current list HERE.