401TB US Navy SBIR/STTR Programs

US Navy SBIR/STTR Programs

SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION RESEARCH (SBIR)

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was established by Congress in 1982 with a statutory purpose to strengthen the role of innovative small business concerns (SBCs) in Federally-funded research or research and development (R/R&D). Specific program purposes are to: (1) Stimulate technological innovation; (2) use small business to meet Federal R/R&D needs; (3) foster and encourage participation by socially and economically disadvantaged SBCs in working in technological innovation; and (4) increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal R/R&D, thereby increasing competition, productivity and economic growth.

SMALL BUSINESS TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER (STTR)

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.

three phase program

The SBIR Program is structured in three phases:

Phase I. The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R/R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. SBIR/STTR Phase I awards are generally $50,000 – $250,000 for 6 months (SBIR) or 1 year (STTR).

Phase II. The objective of Phase II is to continue the R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of the project proposed in Phase II. Typically, only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. SBIR/STTR Phase II awards are generally $750,000 for 2 years.

Phase III. The objective of Phase III, where appropriate, is for the small business to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I/II R/R&D activities. The SBIR/STTR programs do not fund Phase III. At some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR/STTR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.