Skip to main content
Email Print Share

Industrial Innovation and Partnerships

Small Business Innovation Research Program  (SBIR)

Name Email Phone Room
Henry  Ahn 703-292-7069   
Peter  . Atherton (703) 292-8772   
Anna  Brady-Estevez (703) 292-7077   
Glenn  H. Larsen (703) 292-4607   
Debasis  Majumdar (703) 292-4709   
Rajesh  Mehta (703) 292-2174   
Muralidharan  S. Nair (703) 292-7059   
Ben  Schrag 703-292-8323   
Rick  Schwerdtferger 703-292-8353   
Ruth  M. Shuman (703) 292-2160   
Jesus  V. Soriano (703) 292-7795   


Solicitation  17-544

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 17-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 30, 2017. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 17-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Introduction to the Program:

Different from fundamental research, the NSF SBIR program focuses on transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial potential and/or societal benefit.  NSF SBIR supports startups to develop innovative, disruptive technologies, getting discoveries out of the lab and into the market.

Different from investors, the NSF SBIR Program funds early or "seed" stage research and development.  The NSF SBIR Program provides equity-free funding and entrepreneur support at the earliest stages.

Synopsis of Program:

The SBIR program is congressionally mandated and intended to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds to build a strong national economy by: stimulating technological innovation in the private sector; strengthening the role of small business in meeting federal research and development needs; increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results; and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.

The SBIR program solicits proposals from the small business sector consistent with NSF's mission to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense.

The program is governed by Public Law 112-81 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011). SBIR/STTR policy is provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the SBA Policy Directive. A main purpose of the legislation is to stimulate technological innovation and increase private sector commercialization. The NSF SBIR/STTR program is therefore in a unique position to meet both the goals of NSF and the purpose of the SBIR/STTR legislation by transforming scientific discovery and innovation into both social and economic benefit, and by emphasizing private sector commercialization.

The NSF SBIR/STTR program places a strong emphasis on private-sector commercialization. Because the program has no topical focus, the NSF offers very broad solicitation topics that are intended to permit as many eligible science- and technology-based small businesses as possible to compete for these funds. The topics are detailed on the SBIR/STTR website.  In many cases, our program is also open to proposals focusing in technical and market areas not explicitly noted in the aforementioned topics.

What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program