The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are established by the federal government to strengthen the role of innovative small business concerns in federally-funded research and development.

SBIR/STTR awards are limited to U.S.-based, for-profit small businesses. The small business concern (SBC) must submit the proposal. UTD is not eligible to be an applicant for an SBIR/STTR grant.

UTD participation in an SBIR/STTR will be in the form of a subcontract from the small business. To include UTD in the proposal, the Principal Investigator at UTD will need to contact Brian Scott in OSP.  The documents required are:

  • Letter of commitment signed by UTD signatory
  • Scope of work
  • Budget and justification
  • Certification form signed by all parties
  • Export control form signed by PI
  • Allocation of Rights signed by UTD and small business
Name Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)
Website Small Business Innovation Research Website Small Business Technology Transfer Website
Goal Encourage domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research & Development (R/R&D) with potential for commercialization. Expands public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. Role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations. Requires the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II.
Small Business Concern (SBC) Eligibility
  • Organized for profit, with place of business located in the US;
  • At least 51% owned and controlled by either:
    • One or more citizen(s) or permanent resident alien(s) of the US
    • Another for-profit business concern that is 51% owned and controlled by 1 or more citizen(s) or permanent resident alien(s) of the US; and
  • No more than 500 employees, including affiliates
  • Organized for profit, with place of business located in the US;
  • At least 51% owned and controlled by either:
    • One or more citizen(s) or permanent resident alien(s) of the US
    • Another for-profit business concern that is 51% owned and controlled by 1 or more citizen(s) or permanent resident alien(s) of the US; and
  • No more than 500 employees, including affiliates
Principal Investigator Principal investigator must have primary employment (>50% of his/her time) with the SBC at the time of award. The PI may be employed with the SBC or the participating non-profit research institution as long as she/he has a formal appointment with or commitment to the applicant SBC at the time of award.
Conflict of Interest UTD researchers participating in an SBIR/STTR project at an SBC or through a subaward at UTD need to complete a COI Disclosure form. NSF subaward eligibility rules prohibit any person who is an equity holder, employee, or officer of the SBC to be paid through an SBIR or STTR subaward budget.  Exceptions can be made only with prior approval from the Program Official.

Contact Conor Wakeman for assistance

UTD researchers participating in an SBIR/STTR project at an SBC or through a subaward at UTD need to complete a COI Disclosure form. NSF subaward eligibility rules prohibit any person who is an equity holder, employee, or officer of the SBC to be paid through an SBIR or STTR subaward budget.  Exceptions can be made only with prior approval from the Program Official.

Contact Conor Wakeman for assistance

Nonprofit Research Institution Collaboration with research institution is optional

Contact OSP for submission assistance

Required for Phase I and II

Nonprofit Research Institute Eligibility

  • Located in the US
  • Meet one of the following three definitions:
    • Nonprofit college or university
    • Domestic nonprofit research organization
    • Federally funded R&D center
  • Must establish an intellectual property agreement detailing the allocation of intellectual property rights and rights to carry out follow-on research, development, or commercialization activities between SBC and Nonprofit Research Institution
  • SBC must perform at least 40% of the R&D and the single partnering research institution to perform at least 30% of the R&D

Contact OSP for submission assistance

Phase I
  • Establish technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential and determine quality of performance before providing further federal support in Phase II
  • Usually not more than $150,000 for 6 months
  • Minimum 2/3 of research must be performed by SBC
  • Establish technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential and determine quality of performance before providing further federal support in Phase II
  • Usually not more than $100,00 for 1 year
  • At least 40% of work must be performed by SB and at least 30% of work performed by research institution
Phase II
  • Continue R/R&D efforts of Phase I; funding based on results of Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of project proposed in Phase II
  • Usually not more than $1,000,000 total costs for 2 years
  • Minimum ½ research must be performed by SBC
  • Continue R/R&D efforts of Phase I; funding based on results of Phase I and the scientific and technical merit and commercial potential of project proposed in Phase II
  • Usually not more than $750,000 total costs for 2 years
  • At least 40% of work must be performed by SBC and at least 30% of work performed by research institution
Phase III
  • When appropriate, small business pursues commercialization objectives
  • SBIR does not fund Phase III.

Contact OTC for commercialization assistance

  • When appropriate, small business pursues commercialization objects
  • STTR does not fund Phase III

Contact OTC for commercialization assistance

Participating Agencies