NSF-wide Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase I
Full Proposal Window March 5, 2021 - June 3, 2021
June 4, 2021 - September 2, 2021
September 3, 2021 - December 2, 2021
Small businesses can submit a Project Pitch at any time. Small businesses that have been invited to submit a full proposal can submit a proposal based on that Project Pitch at any time during one of the submission windows listed above (up to one year).
Introduction to the Program:
The NSF SBIR program focuses 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 program supports the creation of opportunities to move fundamental science and engineering out of the lab and into the market or other use at scale, or startups and small businesses representing “deep technology ventures.”
The NSF SBIR Program funds research and development. The program is designed to provide non-dilutive funding and entrepreneurial support at the earliest stages of company and technology development.
Synopsis of Program:
The SBIR program is intended to support scientific excellence and technological innovation that is moving 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 SBIR program at NSF solicits proposals based on groundbreaking scientific discoveries or significant engineering breakthroughs from the small businesses 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 NSF SBIR/STTR program welcomes proposals from many topics and does not have a specific topical or procurement focus. The topics are detailed on the program website. The program is also open to proposals focusing on technical and market areas not explicitly noted in the aforementioned topics.