Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages small business 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.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

STTR is an important small business program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development arena. Central to the program is an expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small business and the nation's premier nonprofit research institutions. STTR's most important role is to foster the innovation necessary to meet the nation's scientific and technological challenges in the 21st century.

Each year, more than $2 billion is available in the SBIR/STTR Programs. Both federal programs are designed to fund the critical startup and development stages for new technology and encourage commercialization of the technology, product, or service.

Each year, eleven federal departments and agencies are required to reserve a portion of their R&D funds for awarding to small business. These agencies are:

  • United States Department of Agriculture - USDA
  • U. S. Commerce Department
  • Department of Defense - DoD
  • U. S. Department of Education - ED
  • U. S. Department of Energy - DOE
  • Health and Human Services - NIH
  • Department of Homeland Security - DHS
  • U. S. Department of Transportation - DOT
  • U. S. Environmental Protection Agency - EPA
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration - NASA
  • National Science Foundation - NSF

Several of the agencies require a partnership of a research lab with a small business.

These are the broad technology areas that are covered in the SBIR/STTR Programs:

  • Medical
  • Biotechnology
  • Nanotechnology
  • Defense
  • Environmental
  • Energy
  • Education
  • Agriculture
  • Aviation