The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is a sister program to SBIR, established by Congress in 1992 with a similar statutory purpose as SBIR. A major difference in the two programs is that the STTR requires the small business to have a research partner consisting of a University, Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), or a qualified non-profit research institution. In STTR, the small business must be the prime contractor and perform at least 40% of the work, with the research partner performing at least 30% of the work. The balance can be done by either party and/or a third party.
Although the Navy’s SBIR and STTR programs are a component of the overall Department of Defense (DoD) SBIR/STTR program, the Navy’s program is targeted at addressing the needs and areas of interest to the Navy and its System Commands (SYSCOMS).
On a schedule coordinated by DoD, the Navy issues SBIR Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) or “announcements” (formerly called solicitations), usually 3 per year, that contain a series of “Technical Topics” that describe the areas of interest and needs of the Navy and its SYSCOMS. Small businesses are invited to submit proposals targeted at one or more of the technical topics listed in the announcement. The STTR program works in the same manner, but has only 2 announcements per year.
The Navy’s SBIR/STTR Programs are primarily mission oriented, providing companies the opportunity to become part of the national technology base that can feed both the military and private sectors of the nation. To that end, the Navy incorporates into its Phase II component, the emphasis on the small business’ need to market its technology to both military and private sectors.