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Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP)

SBIR and STTR Programs

The federal government mandates that many federal agencies must commit certain percentages of their funding to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program.

SBIR/STTR grants often involve subcontracts to universities to conduct a portion of the research. SBIR/STTR subcontracts are established according to procedures and guidelines very similar to those for industry-sponsored research.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Set-aside program for small business concerns to engage in federal R&D with potential for commercialization.
Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
Set-aside program to facilitate cooperative R&D between small business concerns and U.S. research institutions -- with potential for commercialization.

Some important facts about SBIR and STTR Programs

  • Eligibility is determined at time of award
  • No appendices allowed in Phase I
  • The PI is not required to have a Ph.D.
  • The PI is required to have expertise to oversee project scientifically and technically
  • Applications may be submitted to different agencies for similar work
  • Awards may not be accepted from different agencies for duplicative projects
  • While SBIR encourages research institution partners, STTR requires them.
  • Award is always made to small business