We Help By: Providing SBIR/STTR Grant Matching Dollars

After more than two decades of existence, the SBIR Program has established itself as one of the most effective technology programs in the federal government. SBIR/STTR programs are highly competitive and encourage small businesses to explore their technological potential. SBIR/STTR funding is available from 11 participating agencies throughout the United States and focus on various technological areas.

How We Help

Support of SBIR / STTR programs remains critical to attracting federal dollars to the State and funding early-stage technology ventures. Current assistance includes the following components:

  • Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (OSBE) will provide education, agency and topic search help and proposal writing and review assistance. Please visit them here: www.IndianaPTAC.com/SBIR
  • Elevate Ventures, in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, through the 21st Century Research & Technology Fund, will provide Phase I proposals with a support letter committing $0.50 towards every federal dollar awarded up to $50,000 in State matching per Federal award and a lifetime maximum of $150,000 in State matching per company, including affiliates.
  • Federal awards with effective starting date on or after December 11, 2013 are eligible for the matching program.

To apply for a Phase I match


Congress created the SBIR Program in 1982 with the following goals:

  • Stimulate Technological Innovation
  • Increase Private Sector Commercialization of Federal R&D
  • Increase Small Business Participation in Federally Funded R&D
  • Foster Participation by Minority and Disadvantaged Firms in Technology Innovation

The program is the largest source of early stage technology financing in the United States and targets the entrepreneurial sector because that is where innovation thrives. The program is driven by solicitations that publish topics addressing the technological needs of the participating agency. After the submission of proposals, the agencies will make awards based on the evaluation of the submission against a set of key criteria points. Those small businesses that receive awards will then begin a three phased program.

  • PHASE I: The Startup Phase. Awards are up to $100K for approximately 6 months supporting and reporting on the feasibility of the idea or technology.
  • PHASE II: Prototype Phase. Awards are up to $750K for approximately 24 months, expanding upon the Phase I findings. During this time the true R&D work is performed and the evaluation of commercialization potential is addressed. Only Phase I awardees can be invited to participate.
  • PHASE III: Commercialization Phase. Non-SBIR funded transition. This is the phase that moves the technology/product from the lab to the marketplace.

SBIR Qualifications

Small businesses must meet certain eligibility criteria to participate in the SBIR program. They are as follows:

  • Organized for-profit US business independently operated
  • Principal Investigator must be 51% employed by business
  • Company size limited to 500 employees or less, including affiliates
  • PI's employment must be with the small business concern at the time of award and for the duration of the project period
  • Subsidiaries are NOT eligible for STTR program

Participating Federal Agencies

Department of Defense SBIR/STTR
Department of Health and Human Services SBIR/STTR
Department of Energy SBIR/STTR
National Science Foundation SBIR/STTR
Department Homeland Security SBIR
Department of Agriculture SBIR
Department of Commerce SBIR
Department of Education SBIR
Environment Protection Agency SBIR
Department of Transportation SBIR

Each agency is able to set policy and administer their program individually. These differences are one of the critical pieces of the process to understand. They range from highly specific topics from the contracting agencies to less specific topics from the granting agencies. The chart below will provide a quick glance into the differences and provide important information on each agencies specific process. Always remember to check with the agencies.