SBIR Program

​The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization

What's the value to me?

If you are looking for Federal R&D that has the potential for commercialization.

Description & Overview

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

Each year, eleven Federal agencies with extramural research and development (R&D) budgets that exceed $100 million are required to allocate 2.5 percent of their R&D budget to these entrepreneurial research programs. Currently, eleven Federal agencies participate in the program:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce - National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Department of Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Transportation
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Science Foundation

Services

  • Phase I: The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R/R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. SBIR Phase I awards normally do not exceed $150,000 total costs for 6 months.
  • Phase II: The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the project proposed in Phase II. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. SBIR Phase II awards normally do not exceed $1,000,000 total costs for 2 years.
  • Phase III: The objective of Phase III, where appropriate, is for the small business to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I/II R/R&D activities. The SBIR program does not fund Phase III. Some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.

Criteria

  • Only United States small businesses are eligible to participate in the SBIR program. Business must meet all of the following criteria at the time of Phase I and II awards:
  • Organized for profit, with a place of business located in the United States;
  • At least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States, or
  • At least 51 percent owned and controlled by another for-profit business concern that is at least 51% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States; and;
  • No more than 500 employees, including affiliates.
  • SBIR differs from STTR in two important aspects:
  • The principal investigator must have primary employment with the SBC (unless a waiver is granted by the agency).
  • SBIR encourages but does not require the SBC to partner with a research institution.

Contact

W: SBIR

Categories:

Research

Phases:

Business Model Discovery / Validation
Scale

Related Research