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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) & Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program


small business technology transfer
seed money for small business and non-profit
research institution joint ventures

SBIR/STTR Solicitation Topics

This page describes the topics for thecurrent NSF SBIR/STTR solicitations. More information on the programs can be found on the SBIR and STTR websites.

The topics are:

For all subtopic descriptions in one (searchable) PDF, click here.

Certain innovative technologies with high commercial potential may not appear to fit under the nine current solicitation topics or corresponding subtopics. In this case, you may seek advice from the relevant Program Director (as indicated below) or you may submit the proposal under the topic and subtopic that is the closest match. The SBIR/STTR Program Directors ensure that proposals are appropriately grouped into panels for review by experts in the field, and the review process is facilitated by a Program Director. The topics and subtopics guide the merit review process but not [are] used as a consideration in making award decisions.

A company considering proposal submission may (but is NOT required to) communicate with the SBIR/STTR Program Director(s) (Cognizant Officer) listed [on the appropriate subtopic page] to help gauge whether a project meets the program's intellectual merit and commercial impact criteria. The email should consist of a 1-2 page executive summary discussing the following aspects of the project:  1) the company and team 2) the market opportunity, value proposition, and customers 3) the technology/innovation 4) the competition. Please note that responsiveness of Program Directors to executive summaries will likely be limited in the 2 weeks leading up to the solicitation deadline.

Please do not send parallel, separate emails to more than one SBIR/STTR Program Director with a pre-submission executive summary or questions. If you must contact multiple Program Directors, please do so in one email.

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