The Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program (SBIR/STTR)
The Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program (SBIR/STTR) is a highly competitive federal R&D funding program that encourages small business to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from commercializing new technology. By enabling qualified small businesses to participate in the nation's R&D activities, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.
SBIR targets the entrepreneurial sector because that is where most innovation and innovators thrive. However, the risk and expense of conducting serious R&D efforts are often beyond the means of many small businesses. By reserving a specific percentage of federal R&D funds for small business, SBIR enables small business to compete on the same level as larger businesses. SBIR funds critical startup and development stages and encourages the commercialization of the technology, product, or service, which, in turn, stimulates the U.S. economy.
Since enacted in 1982 as part of the Small Business Innovation Development Act, SBIR has helped thousands of small businesses to compete for federal research and development awards. The companies' contributions have enhanced the nation's defense, protected our environment, advanced health care, and improved our ability to manage information and analyze data.
The SBIR System
Each year, 11 federal departments and agencies are required to reserve a portion of their R&D funds for award to small business. The agencies listed below independently designate R&D topics and accept proposals:
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Defense
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of Transportation
- Environmental Protection Agency
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration
- National Science Foundation
Following submission of proposals, agencies make SBIR awards based on small business qualification, degree of innovation, technical merit, and future market potential. Small businesses that receive awards or grants then begin a three-phase program:
- Phase I is the startup phase. Generally, awards of up to $100,000 for approximately six months support exploration of the technical merit or feasibility of an idea or technology.
- Phase II awards of generally up to $750,000, for as many as two years, expand Phase I results. During this time, the R&D work is performed and the developer evaluates commercialization potential. Only Phase I award winners are considered for Phase II.
- Phase III is the period during which Phase II innovation moves from the laboratory into the marketplace. No SBIR funds support this phase. The small business must find funding in the private sector or other non-SBIR sources.
Small businesses must meet certain eligibility criteria to participate in the SBIR program including:
- American-owned and independently operated
- Principal researcher employed by business
- Company size limited to fewer than 500 employees
NYSTAR: Your SBIR Partner
Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology & Innovation (NYSTAR) was created to help make New York a leader in high-technology academic research and economic development. Through a host of innovative programs and initiatives including world-class, state-of-the-art research centers, business outreach centers, technology transfer incentives, and faculty retention initiatives, NYSTAR's programs help support the technology development continuum from cutting-edge research to commercialization of new technologies.
For more information, contact the NYSTAR staff via
NYSTARSupport@esd.ny.gov or call us at (518) 292-5700.
New York State SBIR Outreach Program
Initially established in 2001 through a Small Business Administration grant, NYSTAR's SBIR outreach programs now funds direct service delivery and outreach through three Regional SBIR Specialists, each resident within one of NYSTAR's Regional Technology Development Centers (RTDC). Each RTDC, a not-for-profit affiliated with the Federal Manufacturing Extension Partnership, helps New York's small innovative technology companies and smaller manufacturers become more competitive and successful. This network, now funded by NYSTAR and local support, helps bridge a gap for small, innovative technology companies in New York by linking these businesses with technical guidance, research partners, and strategic business assistance. The SBIR Outreach Program's goal is to increase the amount of SBIR and STTR funds awarded to New York companies.
NYSTAR, in conjunction with this network, helps to coordinate activities among its established university-based research institutions, Centers for Advanced Technology, Regional Technology Development Centers (RTDC), and New York’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDC’s), State regional and local economic development organizations, to further assist small businesses.
NYSTAR's SBIR Outreach Program can provide your business with:
- Answers on SBIR/STTR components and which alternatives make the most sense for your company;
- Strategies on how to approach SBIR/STTR;
- Coaching on licensing issues;
- Coaching throughout the proposal writing process;
- Proposal review before submission to the funding agency;
- Transition assistance from Phase I to Phase II;
- Identifying improvements to unfunded proposals; and
- Commercialization strategies
The three New York Regional SBIR specialists are:
Central New York, Capital Region, North Country, Southern Tier, and Mohawk Valley regions
Central New York Technology Development Organization
1201 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13210
Phone (315) 425-5144 Fax (315) 233-1259
Western New York and Finger Lakes Regions
726 Exchange Street, Suite 620, Buffalo NY 14210
Phone (716) 845-6355 Fax (716) 845-6418
New York City, Long Island, and Mid-Hudson Regions
Franklin Madison, Jr.
Industrial and Technology Assistance Corporation
253 Broadway, Room 302, New York, NY 10007
Phone (212) 442-2990 Fax (212) 442-4567
United States Small Business Administration
Federal Laboratory Consortium