WHAT: Government Agencies use the SBIR/STTR program to fund scientific research and development in small businesses and startups. Grants are awarded in phases.
Phase I: $225,000 (10-30% success rate): focuses on proof-of-concept and feasibility
Phase II: $750,000 (30-50% success rate): allows for longer development to get a product to market.
One way to build a strong proposal is by partnering with a university (partnering is required for STTR proposals). Small businesses can leverage the expertise, facilities, and experience of Academia to their benefit.
WHY: To catalyze the commercialization of high-risk technological innovations.
- Grants that go beyond funding: Recipients receive training in key business areas and gain mentorship from Program Directors who have extensive experience in industry.
- Mission & value statement: The NSF SBIR/STTR program seeks to transform scientific discovery into societal / economic benefit by emphasizing private sector commercialization. SBIR/STTR increases the incentive and opportunity for startups and small businesses to undertake cutting-edge, high-quality scientific research and development.
IS MY COMPANY A GOOD FIT?
The NSF SBIR/STTR program seeks to assist companies with early-stage technologies that require additional research and development in order to advance commercialization. Visit the "Is NSF SBIR/STTR a Good Fit" website to determine your own goodness of fit. You may also submit a 1-2 page executive summary to email@example.com or a specific Program Director.
HOW DO I APPLY?
There are multiple online resources that include a YouTube channel and a preparation booklet (http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/sbir/documents/Phase_I_Proposal_Preparation_Booklet.pdf) that provides a detailed step-by-step guide to assist applicants through the Phase I proposal submission process. Deadlines are generally June and December.
ALREADY HAVE A GRANT? Additional funds are available for Phase-II Awardees!
Because C-UAS is an NSF Industry & University Cooperative Research Program (I/UCRC), companies awarded an NSF Phase-II grant are given additional funding by the NSF to join C-UAS for 2 years by covering 90% of membership costs. This means Phase-II grantees are eligible for an additional $72K from the NSF and only pay $4K per year; as opposed to a normal $40K annual C-UAS membership. http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/sbir/how-to-apply_phaseii.jsp
How to Apply: http://www.nsf.gov/eng/iip/sbir/howtoapply.jsp
Frequently Asked Questions: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15125/nsf15125.jsp
Download the entire NSF SBIR/STTR Program Explanation packet