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SBA Small Business Innovation Research

The SBIR program from the SBA awards grants to businesses for innovative research in areas designed by the US government. There are three phases to the awards:

Phase I is the startup phase. Awards of up to $100,000 for approximately 6 months support exploration of the technical merit or feasibility of an idea or technology.

Phase II awards of up to $750,000, for as many as 2 years, to expand Phase I results. During this time, the R&D work is performed and the developer evaluates commercialization potential. Only Phase I award winners are considered for Phase II.

Phase III is the period during which Phase II innovation moves from the laboratory into the marketplace. No SBIR funds support this phase. The small business must find funding in the private sector or other non-SBIR federal agency funding.

There is a similar program where receipient businesses work with government research labs to use their research results for commercial purposes.

The government determines the areas for research and submits a solicitation. More information and a list of solicitations can be viewed at:

Tennessee SBIR Proposal Assistance Center

The Tennessee SBIR Proposal Assistance Center helps small high-tech firms compete for SBIR funding. Click here for more information.

Sample SBIR proposals

The state of Missouri has sample SBIR proposals and more information about the SBIR program on their website. Click here to go to their website

Video explaining the SBIR program

The state of Wisconsin developed this video explaining the SBIR program. Click here to watch a video about the SBIR program.