Current Tracked Grant Funding Programs

SBIR/SSTR - Read Full Description Here: https://www.sbir.gov/about

The SBIR Program

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.

SBIR STTR Program Overview Presentation

SBIR Mission and Program Goals

The mission of the SBIR program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.

The program’s goals are four-fold:

  • Stimulate technological innovation.
  • Meet Federal research and development needs.
  • Foster and encourage participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by women and socially or economically disadvantaged persons.
  • Increase private-sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development funding.

SBIR Participating Agencies

Each year, Federal agencies with extramural research and development (R&D) budgets that exceed $100 million are required to allocate 3.2 percent (FY 2017) of their R&D budget to these programs. Currently, eleven Federal agencies participate in the SBIR program:

Each agency administers its own individual program within guidelines established by Congress. These agencies designate R&D topics in their solicitations and accept proposals from small businesses. Awards are made on a competitive basis after proposal evaluation.

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 Phase I awards normally do not exceed $150,000 total costs for 6 months.

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. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. SBIR Phase II awards normally do not exceed $1,000,000 total costs 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 program does not fund Phase III. Some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-SBIR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.

Dollar Amount of Awards Adjusted for Inflation

The SBIR/STTR Statute (15 U.S.C. §638) establishes a cap for the maximum dollar amount of SBIR and STTR awards, above which an agency must request a SBA-approved waiver. SBA shall adjust the maximum dollar amount every year for inflation. The adjusted cap is effective for all solicitations and corresponding topics issued on or after the date of the adjustment. Agencies may amend their solicitation and other program literature accordingly. Agencies have the discretion to issue awards for less than maximum dollar amount. For more information regarding a specific agency’s award guidelines, please visit their solicitation and website.  Agencies may exceed this cap for a specific topic with approval from SBA prior to the release of the solicitation, award, or modification to the award for a topic issued on or after the date of adjustment.

As of November, 2019, agencies may issue a Phase I award (including modifications) up to $256,580 and a Phase II award (including modifications) up to $1,710,531 without seeking SBA approval. Any award above those levels will require a waiver. Agencies considering this authority should review §7(i)(5) for additional information.

Competitive Opportunity for Small Business

SBIR targets the entrepreneurial sector because that is where most innovation and innovators thrive. However, the risk and expense of conducting serious R&D efforts are often beyond the means of many small businesses. By reserving a specific percentage of federal R&D funds for small businesses, SBIR protects the small business and enables it to compete on the same level as larger businesses. SBIR funds the critical startup and development stages and it encourages the commercialization of the technology, product, or service, which, in turn, stimulates the U.S. economy. Since its enactment in 1982, the SBIR program has helped thousands of small businesses to compete for federal R&D awards. Their contributions have enhanced the nation's defense, protected our environment, advanced health care, and improved our ability to manage information and manipulate data.

The STTR Program

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) is another program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR's most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations.

STTR Mission and Program Goals

The mission of the STTR program is to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of Federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.

The programs’ goals are to:

  • Stimulate technological innovation.
  • Foster technology transfer through cooperative R&D between small businesses and research institutions.
  • Increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal R&D.

STTR Participating Agencies

Each year, Federal agencies with extramural research and development (R&D) budgets that exceed $1 billion are required to reserve 0.45% of the extramural research budget for STTR awards to small businesses. These agencies designate R&D topics and accept proposals. Currently, five agencies participate in the STTR program:

Each agency administers its own individual program within guidelines established by Congress.  These agencies designate R&D topics in their solicitations and accept proposals from small businesses. Awards are made on a competitive basis after proposal evaluation.

Three-Phase Program

The STTR 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 businesses prior to providing further Federal support in Phase II. STTR Phase I awards normally do not exceed $150,000 total costs for 1 year.

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 Phase II project proposed. Only Phase I awardees are eligible for a Phase II award. STTR Phase II awards normally do not exceed $1,000,000 total costs 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 STTR program does not fund Phase III. In some Federal agencies, Phase III may involve follow-on non-STTR funded R&D or production contracts for products, processes or services intended for use by the U.S. Government.

Dollar Amount of Awards Adjusted for Inflation

The SBIR/STTR Statute (15 U.S.C. §638) establishes a cap for the maximum dollar amount of SBIR and STTR awards, above which an agency must request a SBA-approved waiver. SBA shall adjust the maximum dollar amount every year for inflation. The adjusted cap is effective for all solicitations and corresponding topics issued on or after the date of the adjustment. Agencies may amend their solicitation and other program literature accordingly. Agencies have the discretion to issue awards for less than maximum dollar amount.
For more information regarding a specific agency’s award guidelines, please visit their solicitation and website.
 Agencies may exceed this cap for a specific topic with approval from SBA prior to the release of the solicitation, award, or modification to the award for a topic issued on or after the date of adjustment.

As of November, 2019, agencies may issue a Phase I award (including modifications) up to $256,580 and a Phase II award (including modifications) up to $1,710,531 without seeking SBA approval. Any award above those levels will require a waiver. Agencies considering this authority should review §7(j)(5) for additional information.

Competitive Opportunity for Small Business

STTR is a highly competitive program that reserves a percentage of federal R&D funding for awards to small businesses and Unites States nonprofit research institutions. Small business has long been where innovation and innovators thrive. But the risk and expense of conducting R&D can be beyond the means of many small businesses. Conversely, nonprofit research laboratories are instrumental in developing high-tech innovations. But frequently, innovation advances theory, rather than the development of innovative practical applications. STTR combines the strengths of both entities by introducing entrepreneurial skills to high-tech research efforts. The technologies and products are transferred from the laboratory to the marketplace. The small business profits from the commercialization, which, in turn, stimulates the U.S. economy.

CALSEED - Read Full Description Here: https://calseed.fund/

CalSEED is one of several initiatives funded by the California Energy Commission to advance energy innovation. This public sector investment aims to accelerate California’s clean energy goals and serves as an important avenue for economic development. CalSEED 

The primary purpose of CalSEED is to address a critical funding gap in the early stages of the energy technology development pipeline. Most entrepreneurs and researchers require multiple rounds of funding over several years to successfully commercialize their new energy invention. To obtain this sustained, long-term funding – either through private capital or large government grants—entrepreneurs and researchers must first demonstrate that their concept is feasible.

CalSEED provides small funding awards to help California entrepreneurs, researchers and businesses prove out the feasibility of new scientific concepts for energy applications. These small funding awards, along with support services, provide a launch pad to help entrepreneurs be successful in their clean energy ventures.

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