The federal government offers two highly competitive seed grants to support innovation and technology development for eligible small businesses in the U.S.: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR), and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). Eleven federal agencies participate in the program, including the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Department of Defense (DoD). These programs can provide significant non-dilutive funding for early-stage technology development, with the ultimate goal of commercialization. To that end, the SBIR/STTR program encourages and rewards collaboration, and provides a number of educational resources for entrepreneurs.
Important differences distinguish the SBIR and STTR programs from one another. While both grants must be awarded to a small business entity, the STTR program requires collaborative research with a nonprofit organization, like a university. Both programs require a certain percentage of work to be completed by the small business, but that percentage is higher within the SBIR program.
Application deadlines vary among the federal agencies. NIH deadlines are typically January 5th, April 5th, and September 5th of each year. Caution: always refer to the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) provided by the federal agency to confirm the application deadline.
As SBIR/STTR grants are unique from other federal funding sources, Collaborations and Entrepreneurship (CE) recommends that you review the following resources and connect with CE staff for support.
Sponsored by the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute (OCTRI) and Business Oregon, the Phase 0/00 program is designed to help small life science and healthcare-related businesses in Oregon access funding through the federal SBIR and STTR programs.
The Phase 0/00 program provides up to $5,000, to be used for SBIR/STTR application support services, including written critiques of Phase I, Phase II (Phase 00), or Fast-track proposals, grant writing assistance, and additional services that help increase the competitiveness of the application. Prior approval of reviewers and support services is required from Business Oregon and OCTRI. For more information, download the RFA here, or contact Jonathan Jubera; email@example.com.
Increase your SBIR/STTR application's competitiveness with this proposal development resource. OHSU Investigators receive free advice and feedback from a panel of SBIR/STTR experts on your commercialization strategy and opportunity, research approach, feasibility assessment and overall readiness, among other critical review components. Download the program fact sheet or contact Melissa Mudd; firstname.lastname@example.org.
- General SBIR/ STTR Information
- NIH SBIR/ STTR application process
- America's Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation: How to submit a Project Pitch
- America's Seed Fund powered by the National Science Foundation: How to Apply & Full Proposal Submission Tips
- Framework for developing a financial plan for your startup
Obtaining Data Universal Numbering System and System for Awards Management numbers
You are required to obtain a DUNS number, a unique 9 digit identifier for businesses, and register on SAM, a federal government registration system, to receive federal funding. You can learn more about SAM and DUNS numbers at these websites.