NASA’s SBIR/STTR Programs provide funding opportunities for small, high-technology companies and research institutions to participate in government sponsored research and development (R&D) efforts in key technology areas. The FY2019 budget estimate for the SBIR and STTR programs is $205 million.
The SBIR program is supported at a level of at least 3.2 percent of NASA’s extramural (R&D) budget for FY 2018, while the STTR program, modeled after the SBIR program, is funded based on 0.45 percent of NASA’s extramural R&D budget. NASA’s SBIR/STTR Programs include Phase I, Phase II, and Phase II Enhancement (II-E/X), contract options, in addition to supporting the Civilian Commercial Readiness Pilot Program (CCRPP) contracts and I-Corps training grants, all of which are described below:
- Currently, the maximum value for an SBIR or STTR Phase I contract will be $125,000 for a period of performance of six months.
- For Phase II contracts, the maximum total value of an SBIR/STTR award will be $750,000 over a 24-month period of performance.
- Phase II Enhancement (II-E/X) contract options incentivize cost sharing to extend R&D efforts of the current Phase II contract.
- Phase II via an extension of research and development efforts to current Phase II contracts.
- CCRPP contracts incentivize cost sharing to extend R&D efforts of the previous Phase II contract with strong customer pull for technology maturation.
- I-Corps training grants are offered for Phase I awardees to enable small businesses to commercialize innovations with the National Science Foundation (NSF).
NASA issues SBIR/STTR program solicitations on an annual basis. The current SBIR/STTR solicitation and award schedule is shown below:
In FY2017, NASA granted 399 Phase I SBIR/STTR awards. With down selections made for contract negotiations, NASA selected 133 Phase II SBIR awards valued at almost $100 million and 19 Phase II STTR awards worth almost $14.3 million. Another 30 SBIR Phase II E/X were transitioned into commercialization through awards over $7.9 million, with eight STTR Phase II E/X awards worth more than $2.1 million. NASA selected 16 CCRPP awards in FY2017 valued at $9.5 million. Another $10 million was given to SBIR/STTR companies through utilization of the technologies with 47 Phase III awards. The I-Corps program, in partnership with NSF, provided 11 SBIR/STTR Phase I awardees with training grants.
Updated April 2018 by Rachel Werth