About the Programs

What are the Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs?

The SBIR and STTR programs were created by Congress to strengthen the role of small, innovative companies in federally supported research and development. These highly competitive awards-based programs support scientific excellence and technological innovation across 11 federal agencies.

Federal agencies with extramural research budgets greater than $100 million are required to set aside a certain percentage of their budget to SBIR; those with research budgets greater than $1 billion are also required to set aside a certain portion for STTR.

The SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011 includes guidelines that increased the SBIR and STTR set-aside amounts for fiscal years 2012 through 2017. For fiscal year 2017, the SBIR set-aside is 3.2% and the STTR set-aside is 0.45%. The set-asides are the same for fiscal year 2018.

How are the SBIR/STTR programs structured?

Both the SBIR and STTR programs include three phases.

Who is eligible for the programs?

Only U.S. small business concerns (SBCs) are eligible to participate in these programs. The NIH SBIR/STTR website provides detailed information on the SBC eligibility criteria for these programs. Additional information about eligibility requirements is available in the current funding opportunity announcement.