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Is NSF SBIR/STTR a Good Fit?

Technology Readiness and Funding Philosophy
NSF SBIR/STTR seeks to assist companies with early-stage technologies that require additional research and development in order to advance commercialization efforts. The technologies must be highly innovative with strong commercial potential (satisfy a market need). For more context, preview the SBIR/STTR Funding Criteria and Recent Phase I Awards.

SBIR versus STTR
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are similar in almost every way. However, the differences are highlighted below. More specific information is available via this video.

SBIR STTR
Phase I Grant- Feasibility /
Proof-of-Concept
Up to $150k for 6 months Up to $225k for 12 months
Phase II Grant- Development Up to $750k for 24 months Up to $750k for 24 months
Partner- Academic, Non-Profit, or FFRDC* Research Institution Optional Required
Budget Allocation Min. of 2/3 to small business Min. of 40% to small business; min. of 30% to research partner
Merit Review Criteria & Most Other Aspects The Same The Same

*FFDRC = Federally Funded Research and Development Center

Soliciting Pre-Submission Feedback
Potential proposers may (but are NOT required to) email a 1-2 page executive summary to an SBIR/STTR Program Director to help gauge whether a project meets the program's intellectual merit and commercial impact criteria. The summary should discuss: the company and team; the market opportunity, value proposition, and customers; the technology/innovation; and the competition. Program Director contact information can be found on the technology area pages below. Please note that responsiveness of Program Directors will be limited in the 2 weeks leading up to the solicitation deadline.

Technology Areas
NSF SBIR/STTR is currently soliciting proposals in the following nine topics areas. The topics and subtopics guide the logistics of the review process but do not affect award decisions. In fact, NSF SBIR/STTR recognizes that innovation often can't be categorized. Therefore, NSF SBIR/STTR accepts proposals in any area of technology that shows high commercial potential, not just those listed below.

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Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations presented in this material are only those of the presenter grantee/researcher, author, or agency employee; and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.