STTR Program

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) is a program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions

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Description & Overview

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) is a program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR's most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations.

Federal agencies with extramural research and development (R&D) budgets that exceed $1 billion are required to reserve 0.3% of the extramural research budget for STTR awards to small businesses. These agencies designate R&D topics and accept proposals. Currently, five agencies participate in the STTR program:

  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • National Science Foundation

Each agency administers its own individual program within guidelines established by Congress. These agencies designate R&D topics in their solicitations and accept proposals from small businesses. Awards are made on a competitive basis after proposal evaluation.

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 businesses prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. STTR Phase I awards normally do not exceed $100,000 total costs for 1 year.
  • 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 Phase II project proposed. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. STTR Phase II awards normally do not exceed $750,000 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 STTR program does not fund Phase III. In some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-STTR 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 STTR program. The small business must meet all of the following criteria at time of award;
  • 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, and;
  • No more than 500 employees, including affiliates.
  • The nonprofit research institution must also meet certain eligibility criteria:
  • Located in the US
  • Meet one of three definitions: Nonprofit college or university, domestic nonprofit research organization, federally funded R&D center (FFRDC)

STTR differs from SBIR in three important aspects:

The SBC and its partnering institution are required to establish an intellectual property agreement detailing the allocation of intellectual property rights and rights to carry out follow-on research, development or commercialization activities.

STTR requires that the SBC perform at least 40% of the R&D and the single partnering research institution to perform at least 30% of the R&D.

Unlike the SBIR program, STTR does not require the Principal Investigator to be primarily employed by the SBC.

Contact

W: STTR

Phases:

Business Model Discovery / Validation
Scale

Related Capital / Funding