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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards are federal grant programs for early stage innovative technology development. SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages small business to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.
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.
Eleven federal agencies independently and competitively award grants in categories of research supporting their strategic priorities:
Products and services developed through these programs profit the company and the country. Over 50% of both innovations and new jobs are created by small businesses. By supporting companies during the early, high-risk, stages of development, the government stimulates innovation and helps to build a strong economy.
Following submission of proposals, agencies make SBIR awards based on small business qualification, degree of innovation, technical merit, and future market potential. Award recipients then begin a three-phase program:
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