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NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/ Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs Phase I (SBIR/STTR Phase I)

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived. See NSF 24-579 for the latest version.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.

Provides up to $275,000 to startups and small businesses to translate research into products and services with commercial and societal impact.


Introduction to the Program:

The NSF SBIR/STTR programs focus on transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial potential and/or societal benefit. Unlike fundamental or basic research activities that focus on scientific and engineering discovery itself, the NSF SBIR/STTR programs support the creation of opportunities to move fundamental science and engineering out of the lab and into the market or other use at scale, through startups and small businesses representing deep technology ventures.

The NSF SBIR/STTR programs fund research and development. The programs are designed to provide non-dilutive funding at the earliest stages of technology development.

Synopsis of Program:

The NSF SBIR/STTR programs support moving scientific excellence and technological innovation from the lab to the market. By investing federal research and development funds into startups and small businesses, NSF hopes to build a strong national economy and stimulate the creation of novel products, services, and solutions in the private sector; strengthen the role of small business in meeting federal research and development needs; increase the commercial application of federally supported research results; and develop and increase the US workforce, especially by fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.

The NSF SBIR/STTR programs solicit proposals from small businesses based on groundbreaking scientific discoveries or significant engineering breakthroughs consistent with NSF's mission to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense.

The programs are governed by Public Law 114-328 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2017). SBIR/STTR policy is provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) through SBIR/STTR Policy Directive.

The NSF SBIR/STTR programs welcome proposals from many topics and do not have a specific technological focus. SBIR/STTR Program Directors work together in “clusters” around general areas of science, engineering or technology to manage proposals and the merit review process. These clusters encompass Biological and Life Sciences; Mathematics and Physical Sciences; Data and Computer Sciences; and Resilient and Sustainable Systems. The topics within each cluster are detailed on the program website, but are only meant to be suggestive of the types of topic areas that are anticipated. The program is also open to proposals focusing on technical and market areas not explicitly noted in the aforementioned topics; such proposals should be submitted to “Other Topics”. However, the NSF SBIR/STTR programs do not support clinical trials or proposals from companies whose commercialization pathway involves the production, distribution or sale by the company of chemical components, natural or synthetic variations thereof, or other derivatives related to Schedule I controlled substances. 


Program contacts

Henry Ahn
Biological and Life Sciences Cluster Lead - Biomedical (BM) Technologies
hahn@nsf.gov (703) 292-7069 TIP/TI
Erik Pierstorff
Biological Technologies (BT)
epiersto@nsf.gov (703) 292-2165 TIP/TI
Kaitlin Bratlie
Pharmaceutical Technologies (PT)
kbratlie@nsf.gov (703) 292-2638
Edward Chinchoy
Medical Devices (MD)
echincho@nsf.gov (703)292-7103 TIP/TI
Peter S. Atherton
Data and Computer Sciences Cluster Lead - Advanced Analytics (AA); Artificial Intelligence (AI); Cloud and High-Performance Computing (CH); Cybersecurity and Authentication (CA); and Quantum Information Technologies (QT)
PATHERTO@nsf.gov (703) 292-8772 TIP/TI
Alastair Monk
Digital Health (DH)
amonk@nsf.gov (703) 292-4392 TIP/TI
Diane Hickey
Augmented and Virtual Reality (AV); Learning and Cognition Technologies (LC); and Human-Computer Interaction (HC)
dhickey@nsf.gov (703) 292-8875
Benaiah D. Schrag
Mathematics and Physical Sciences Cluster Lead - Instrumentation and Hardware Systems (IH); and Other Topics (OT)
bschrag@nsf.gov (703) 292-8323 TIP/TI
Muralidharan S. Nair
Internet of Things (I); Power Management (PM); Robotics (R); Space Technologies (SP); and Wireless Technologies (W)
mnair@nsf.gov (703) 292-7059 TIP/TI
Rajesh V. Mehta
Resilient and Sustainable Systems Cluster Lead - Environmental Technologies (ET); Advanced Materials (AM); and Nanotechnology (N)
rmehta@nsf.gov (703) 292-2174 TIP/TI
Elizabeth Mirowski
Advanced Manufacturing (M); Mobility (MO); Photonics (PH); and Semiconductors (S)
emirowsk@nsf.gov (703) 292-2936 TIP/TI
Anna S. Brady-Estevez
Chemical Technologies (CT); Energy Technologies (EN); and Distributed Ledger (DL)
abrady@nsf.gov (703) 292-7077 TIP/TI

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