Participating agency links and information

Each year, Federal agencies with extramural research and development (R&D) budgets that exceed $100 million are required to allocate 3.2 percent (FY 2017) of their R&D budget to these programs. Currently, eleven Federal agencies participate in the SBIR program (listed below).

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.


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The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers competitively awarded grants to qualified small businesses to support high quality research related to important scientific problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefits. The program stimulates technological innovations in the private sector and strengthens the role of federal research and development in support of small businesses. The SBIR program also fosters and encourages participation by women-owned and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.


Department of Health and Human Services

The NIH SBIR program funds early stage small businesses that are seeking to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies. This competitive program helps small businesses participate in federal research and development, develop life-saving technologies, and create jobs.

In Fiscal Year 2015, NIH’s SBIR and STTR programs will invest over 780 million dollars into early-stage, health and life science companies that are creating a wide range of innovative technologies that align with NIH’s mission to improve health and save lives. A key objective of this work is translating promising technologies to the private sector through strategic public and private partnerships, so that life-saving innovations reach consumer markets.



Department of Commerce - National Institute of Standards and TechnologY

The National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program solicits from small businesses scientific and engineering related R&D proposals that respond to specific technical needs described in the annual Solicitation. Only proposals responding to those specific technical needs expressed in the NIST Solicitation will be reviewed and evaluated for possible funding. The NIST SBIR Program awards cooperative agreements for its awards. Information regarding NIST SBIR subtopics will be made available only via the Solicitation.


Department of Homeland Security

The DHS S&T SBIR Program was initiated in 2004 with the goal of increasing the participation of innovative and creative U.S. small businesses in federal research and development programs and challenging industry to bring innovative homeland security solutions to reality.

Solicitation topics are developed by Program Managers in each of the Science and Technology (S&T) Divisions. The annual solicitations consist of topics relevant to the following S&T Directorate organizations: Borders and Maritime Security, Chemical/Biological Defense, Cyber Security, Explosives, Resilient Systems Division and the First Responder Group.

Similar to the R&D programs of the S&T Directorate, the SBIR topics generally address the needs of the seven DHS Operational Units, i.e., U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Secret Service, as well as First Responders.

For the Phase II SBIR effort, the DHS S&T SBIR Program has a Cost Match feature for SBIR projects that attract matching cash from an outside investor. The purpose is to focus SBIR funding on those projects that are most likely to be developed into viable new products that DHS and others will buy and that will thereby make a major contribution to homeland security and/or economic capabilities. Click here for more information about the Cost Match feature.



Department of Commerce - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

NOAA's SBIR Program is seeking highly innovative products with excellent commercial potential. All SBIR proposals must directly benefit the NOAA mission, but should also be responsive to the greater market demands in order to be successful. All SBIR applications must be made in response to a NOAA solicitation, which will be made available once per year on this site and through the Federal Register.


Department of Transportation

U.S. DOT's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program awards contracts to small businesses to pursue research on and develop innovative solutions to our nation’s transportation challenges.

The SBIR Program Office publishes two solicitations each fiscal year for proposals on specific research topics of interest to U.S. DOT operating administrations:

  • Federal Aviation Administration

  • Federal Highway Administration

  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

  • Federal Railroad Administration

  • Federal Transit Administration

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

  • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology



Department of Defense

The Department of Defense (DoD) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program is a congressionally mandated program coordinated by the Small Business Administration. The DoD SBIR/STTR Program’s mission is to elicit innovative solutions from the small business community that address defense technology gaps confronting the DoD and to include technologies that will also have high commercialization potential in the private sector. DoD issues solicitation topics supporting the Warfighter in three cycles throughout the year.


Environmental Protection Agency

EPA issues annual solicitations for Phase I and Phase II research proposals from science and technology-based firms. Under Phase I, the scientific merit and technical feasibility of the proposed concept is investigated. EPA awards firm-fixed-price Phase I contracts of up to $100,000 for 6 months. Through this phased approach to SBIR funding, EPA can determine whether the research idea, often on high-risk advanced concepts, is technically feasible, whether the firm can do high-quality research, and whether sufficient progress has been made to justify a larger Phase II effort.



Department of Education

This program funds research and development projects that propose a sound approach to the investigation of an important education or assistive technology, science, or engineering question under topics identified each year in the solicitation. The purpose of the program is to: stimulate technological innovation; increase small business participation in federal research and development; foster and encourage participation by minority and disadvantaged persons in technological innovation; and increase private sector commercialization of technology derived from federal research and development.


National Aeronautics and Space Administration

The NASA SBIR and STTR programs fund the research, development, and demonstration of innovative technologies that fulfill NASA needs as described in the annual Solicitations and have significant potential for successful commercialization. If you are a small business concern (SBC) with 500 or fewer employees or a non-profit RI such as a university or a research laboratory with ties to an SBC, then NASA encourages you to learn more about the SBIR and STTR programs as a potential source of seed funding for the development of your innovations.



Department of Energy 

Each year the Department of Energy (DOE) issues Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA) inviting small businesses to apply for SBIR/STTR grants. These FOA's contain topics in such research areas as:

  • Clean Energy: Fossil, Nuclear and Renewable Energy (energy production and use in buildings, vehicles, and industry) and Electricity Delivery and Reliability

  • Basic Science and Engineering: Fundamental Energy Sciences, including materials, life, environmental, and computational sciences, and Fusion Energy, High Energy and Nuclear Physics

  • Nuclear Security: Environmental Management and Nuclear Nonproliferation


National Science Foundation

The NSF SBIR/STTR program seeks to transform scientific discovery into societal and economic benefit by catalyzing private sector commercialization of technological innovations. The program increases the incentive and opportunity for startups and small businesses to undertake cutting-edge, high-quality scientific research and development.

We provide grants in phases : a short proof-of-concept / feasibility grant ($150-225k) can potentially be followed by a longer development grant ($750k).