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Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program

The SBIR program was created by the "Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982", to ensure that small businesses received a greater share of federal research and development awards. The "Small Business Innovation Development Enhancement Act of 1992", reauthorized the SBIR program.

The objectives of the SBIR program are to:

  • Stimulate technological innovations by small businesses,
  • Use an increasing number of small businesses to meet their R&D needs,
  • Increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from R&D awards to small businesses, and
  • Foster and encourage the participation of small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses and small business located in HubZone areas.

Summary of the SBIR Program

Since the implementation of the program, HHS has received approximately 89,265 Phase I proposals and funded 20,120, with awards exceeding $2.4 billion. For Phase II awards, of the SBIR Program, HHS has received approximately 17,031 proposals and funded 6,951 with awards exceeding $5.7 billion.

In Fiscal Year 2010, HHS released three (3) SBIR solicitations, several thousand copies were downloaded from the SBIR/STTR website to small businesses resulting in 6,750 Phase I proposals received and 83 funded, totaling over $206 million. For Phase II awards, 782 proposals were received with approximately 319 funded, totaling over $412 million.

The SBIR program also includes awards to women-owned, small disadvantaged and HUBZone small businesses. The chart below shows awards in those categories under the SBIR Program.

Fiscal Year 2010 SBIR Program


Phase One Awards

Phase Two Awards


No. of Awards

Dollar Amount
(In Thousands)


No. of Awards

Dollar Amount
(In Thousands)


Total SBIR Awards







WOSB Awards







SDB Awards







Hubzone Awards







Manufacturing Topics18$36,56417.71186$107,40226.05

WOSB - Women-Owned Small Business
SDB - Small Disadvantaged Business


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Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) Program

General Information

There are two major differences between the STTR and SBIR programs. They are:

  1. The STTR program requires that a small business concern "team" with a research institution to collaborate on a project that has potential for commercialization. The collaboration is not required under an SBIR project.
  2. The SBIR program requires the Principal Investigator to have their primary employment with the small business concern at the time of award through completion of the project.

The "Small Business Research and Development Enhancement Act of 1992", requires HHS and certain other Federal agencies to reserve a specified amount of their extramural research and development (R&D) budgets for the STTR program. This legislation is intended to:

  • Stimulate and foster scientific and technological innovation through cooperative research and development carried out between small business concerns and research institutions;
  • Foster technology transfer between small business concerns and research institutions;
  • Increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development; and
  • Foster and encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and women-owned small business concerns in technological innovation.

One (1) STTR Solicitation was released in Fiscal Year 2010. The solicitation was made available on-demand' electronically for small businesses. HHS' total extramural R&D budget for FY 2010 was $23.9 billion, with an STTR budget of $71.9 million.

Total STTR Obligations for Fiscal Year 2010
(To the Dollar)



Total Agency Obligations Reported


Total Amount to Small Businesses


Total Amount to Non-Profit Research Organizations


Net Dollar Amount of Other




STTR Phase I Awards 
(To the Dollar)

STTR Phase II Awards
(To the Dollar)

Total Dollars Obligated



Small Business Awards



Small Disadvantaged Business Awards



HUBZone Awards



Research Institutions





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Contact Information

For continuously updated information concerning these two programs, you should visit the Small Business Administration website at: To obtain an electronic copy of an SBIR or STTR solicitation, visit NIH's website at: Or, to obtain a hard copy, contact the following:

PHS SBIR/STTR Solicitation Office
13687 Baltimore Avenue
Laurel, MD 20707-5096
Telephone: (301) 206-9385
Fax: (301) 206-9722
Internet Address:

For general information or questions concerning the National Institutes of Health SBIR/STTR programs, contact:

Dr. Matthew Portnoy
NIH SBIR/STTR Program Coordinator
6705 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-7910
Telephone: (301) 435-2688
Fax: (301) 480-0146

For general information or questions concerning the Administration for Children and Families' (ACF) SBIR program, contact:

Ms. Anne F. Bergan, ACF
370 L'Enfant Promenade, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20447
Telephone: 202-260-8515
Fax: 202-205-3598


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