NSF revises small business application process


March 5, 2019

America’s Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) is piloting changes to the Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) proposal submission process. The pilot replaces a recommended pre-proposal step, the Executive Summary, with a required first step, the Project Pitch. 

Starting in March 2019, startups or entrepreneurs who submit a three-page Project Pitch will know within three weeks if they are a good fit for the SBIR/STTR program’s objectives of supporting innovative technologies that show promise of commercial and/or societal impact and involve a level of technical risk. Startups or entrepreneurs can submit a Project Pitch at any time during the pilot.

Small businesses that are a good fit will be officially invited to submit a full proposal. They will also get additional guidance and feedback about the proposal submission process from NSF staff. Small businesses that are not invited to submit a full proposal will be told why their project does not meet the program’s objectives.

The pilot will continue through December 2019.

More details about the NSF’s new process are available at seedfund.nsf.gov.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, its budget is $8.1 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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