Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

What is SBIR and STTR?

The United States Congress created the SBIR program in 1982 and the STTR program in 1992. These programs congressionally require eligible governmental agencies to set aside a percentage of their extramural budget so that domestic small businesses can engage in R&D that has a strong potential for technology commercialization.

The SBIR program includes the following objectives:

  • Stimulate technological innovation;
  • Meet federal research and development needs;
  • Increase private sector commercialization of innovations developed through federal R&D funding; and
  • Foster and encourage participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by socially and economically disadvantaged persons and women-owned small businesses.

Eleven federal agencies have SBIR programs and five of these agencies also have STTR programs. Each agency administers its own individual program within guidelines established by Congress, and designates R&D topics in their solicitations and accepts proposals from small businesses. The Small Business Administration (SBA) serves as the coordinating agency for the SBIR and STTR programs.

Federal agencies with extramural research budgets over $100 million are required to set-aside a certain percentage of their budget to SBIR, and those with research budgets over $1 billion are required to set aside a portion of these funds for STTR.

Questions? Contact the NIH SBIR/STTR Program Office.

Learn More about NIH SBIR/STTR: