By Cathy Musselman, Entrepreneur Specialist/Trainer
The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, administered through the Small Business Administration, are a set-aside program for small business. The programs are designed to engage in Federal research and development with the potential for commercialization. The SBIR/STTR programs were developed to promote technological innovation and economic growth through the investment of Federal research funds in small U.S. businesses.
The process to apply for these grants/contracts is through solicitations offered by various Federal agencies. Each year, agencies with funds allocated for research and development are required to participate in these programs. Currently 11 agencies are participating. In November 2013, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is currently scheduled to open their solicitation for SBIR/STTR proposals. For updated information visit their website at http://sbir.gsfc.nasa.gov/SBIR/SBIR.html. Once the solicitation for proposal process begins, the agency is not available for questions until after the solicitation is closed. If you are looking at submitting a proposal for the NASA SBIR/STTR solicitation, it is recommended that you study last year’s information and contact NASA SBIR/STTR with your questions.
Small businesses who are looking at technology and its commercial potential should take a serious look at applying for a SBIR/STTR grant/contract. Since its enactment under the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982, SBIR/STTR has helped thousands of small businesses. These businesses have made a major impact on our nation’s defense programs, protected our environment, made strides in health care and advanced the management of information and data.