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Small Business
Innovation Research

How to access federal funds for innovative R&D

The SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) programs are two competitively awarded, three-phase Federal Government programs which are designed to stimulate technological innovation and provide opportunities for small business.

Manufacturing related priority

Executive Order (EO) 13329 "Encouraging Innovation in Manufacturing" requires SBIR agencies, to the extent permitted by law and in a manner consistent with the mission of that department or agency, to give high priority within the SBIR programs to manufacturing related research and development (R&D). "Manufacturing related" is defined as "relating to manufacturing processes, equipment and systems; or manufacturing workforce skills and protection." More information on the national manufacturing initiative may be found through links located on the NIST SBIR website

The NIST SBIR Program solicits manufacturing related projects through many of the subtopics described in this Solicitation. Further NIST encourages innovation in manufacturing by giving high priority, where feasible, to projects that can help the manufacturing sector through technological innovation in a manner consistent with NIST's mission.

The SBIR program solicitations are issued by eleven Federal agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the Department of Energy, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation. For more information about the SBIR program, visit In addition, Federal agencies maintain department-specific SBIR and STTR programs Web pages.

Five Federal agencies reserve a portion of their Research and Development funds to be awarded via the STTR program to small business/nonprofit research institution partnerships. For more information about the STTR program, visit

Since its inception in 1982 SBIR has effectively stimulated commercialization of the resulting technology to the benefit of both private and public sectors of the nation. For 2010, the total awards authorized by Congress are over $2.3 billion. Current grant amounts from participating federal agencies range from $60,000 to $150,000 for Phase I awards and from $500,000 to $1.0 million for Phase II awards for both SBIR and for STTR, a maximum of $100,000 for a Phase I and $750,000 for a Phase II, depending on the agency.

SBIR awards are used by companies as initial start-up funding, or by existing companies to create new products and move into new markets. SBIR pays for the research and the findings are reported to the government; but the firm owns the idea and can use it for its own purposes.

If you have an innovative technical idea that you can describe in a proposal, have access to personnel who can perform the research, and have a vision for commercialization, TDO can help increase your chances of winning SBIR awards!

Through our SBIR regional outreach program, we offer:

  • Workshops on the SBIR process, proposal preparation and budgeting
  • One-on-one consultations, including proposal assistance (e.g., organizing the material and reviewing the technical ideas)
  • University access to set up academic/private sector partnerships
  • Web links to agency solicitations and program materials
  • Access to other SBIR winners for mentoring or advice
  • Technology business development assistance

Currently, TDO's SBIR Outreach program is available in the Central New York, Mohawk Valley, Capital District, Southern Tier, and North Country regions of New York State and in other regions based on referral from the local RTDC.

For more information on the SBIR Technology Commercialization Assistance program, contact:

Marcene S. Sonneborn
SBIR Specialist, TDO
Phone: 315.425.5144
Fax: 315.233.1259