Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

The SBIR Program is a Congressionally-mandated program which was established in 1982 to increase the participation of small businesses in federal research and development.

The goal of the dual-use SBIR Program is to tap into the innovativeness and creativity of the small business community to help meet government R&D objectives. At the same time, these small companies develop technologies, products, and services which they can then commercialize through sales in the private sector or back to the government.

Three-Phase Process

The SBIR Program conducts a project, if successful, through three phases. Proposals submitted in response to the solicitation topics are competitively selected for Phase I awards. Note that Phase I is the entry point to the program; it cannot be bypassed. Phase I proposals must respond to a specific topic in the solicitation; the SBIR Program does not accept unsolicited proposals.

Phase I

In Phase I, the company must prove the feasibility of its concept within a six-month, Phase I - $150,000 effort.

Phase II

All successful Phase I companies can compete for Phase II funding by submitting Phase II proposals near the end of their Phase I efforts. Phase II is a substantial R&D effort, spanning two years, and is intended to result in a dual-use prototype product or service meeting the requirements of the original solicitation topic and which can be made commercially viable. Phase II efforts following a Phase I award have a maximum dollar amount of $1,000,000.

Phase III

Phase III is the goal of every SBIR effort, and represents the commercialization phase of the program. In Phase III, the successful company markets the products or services developed in Phase II, either to the government or in the commercial sector. No SBIR funds can be used in Phase III. The intention of SBIR is that each company receiving an investment of SBIR funds during Phases I and II should now be prepared to compete in the commercial marketplace in Phase III.

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.