Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Program (STTR)


  • Robert E. Paoni, LRS,
  • S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • 3330 Ginger Creek Drive, Suite B East
  • Springfield, IL 62711
  • Phone: (217) 793-5020
  • Fax: (217) 793-5025
  • TDD: (217) 492-4418
  • Email:
  • Website: sba.gov

Purpose of the Program

Through these two competitive programs, SBA ensures that the nation’s small, high-tech, innovative businesses are a significant part of the federal government’s research and development efforts.  Eleven federal departments participate in the SBIR program; five departments participate in the STTR program awarding $2 billion to small high-tech businesses.

Who is Eligible

SBIR Qualifications: American-owned and independently operated, for-profit, principal researcher employed by business, company size limited to 500 employees.  STTR Qualifications: For-profit business: American-owned and independently operated, principal researcher need not be employed by small business, company size limited to 500 employees.  Non-profit: located in the US, meet one of three definitions, nonprofit college or university, domestic nonprofit research organization, federally funded R&D center (FFRDC).

Application Process

The SBR System: Three-Phase Program: Following submission of proposals, agencies make SBIR awards based on small business qualification, degree of innovation, technical merit, and future market potential.  Small businesses that receive awards then begin a three-phase program.  Phase I is the startup phase.  Awards of up to $100,000 for approximately 6 months support exploration of the technical merit or feasibility of an idea or technology.  Phase II awards of up to $750,000, for as many as 2 years, expand Phase I results.  During this time, the R&D work is performed and the developer evaluates commercialization potential.  Only Phase I award winners are considered for Phase II.  Phase III is the period during which Phase II innovation moves from the laboratory into the marketplace.  No SBIR funds support this phase.  The small business must find funding in the private sector or other non-SBIR federal agency funding.  The STTR System: Three-Phase Program: Following submission of proposals, agencies make STTR awards based on small business/nonprofit research institution qualification, degree of innovation, and future market potential.  Small businesses that receive awards then begin a three-phase program.  Phase I is the startup phase.  Awards of up to $100,000 for approximately one year fund the exploration of the scientific, technical, and commercial feasibility of an idea or technology.  Phase II awards of up to $750,000, for as long as two years, expand Phase I results.  During this period, the R&D work is performed and the developer begins to consider commercial potential.  Only Phase I award winners are considered for Phase II.  Phase III is the period during which Phase II innovation moves from the laboratory into the marketplace.  No STTR funds support this phase.  The small business must find funding in the private sector or other non-STTR federal agency funding.

Availability of Funds

Phase I awardees are eligible for up to $100,000.  Phase II awardees for up to $750,000.

How Funds are to be used

Types of Assistance

Grants

Year Program was established

1982