Group of Happy SBIR Grant Winners holding Light Bulbs above their heads

SBIR Grants: Have an Innovative Idea? The Government Might Fund It For You

SBIR Grants

Believe it or not, there’s loads of unclaimed cash for innovative ideas.

Your dreams won’t fund themselves, and let’s face it; the average small business doesn’t have unlimited resources and disposable income. If you’re reading our blogs, there’s a good chance that you’re one of those small business owners.

Without appropriate funding, you might feel like your big idea will never see the light of day. Don’t give up! Your vision can still become a reality with the government’s help. You can leverage SBIR’s power to fund your dreams, like 179,000 other small businesses.

An SBIR grant might be the ticket if your idea has elements of research and technical innovation.

Team 80your SBIR accounting expertshave set up the ultimate guide for SBIR resources to help your small business along your journey to landing Phase I & II awards.

What is the SBIR program?

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a United States government program that awards funds to small businesses conducting early-stage research and development.

There are three phases in the program. We’ll focus on two of them (the SBIR program does not fund Phase III). In the simplest terms, Phase I covers research costs; Phase II covers idea development.

Eleven government agencies participate in the SBIR program, and each year they invite people like you to conduct research. Why? Because the government is always in need of things. DOD needs innovative military tech, and the EPA constantly looks for environmental protection ideas.

If your brilliant idea can realistically further a federal agency’s mission, then the SBIR program could be a potential gold mine for you and your business.

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Who qualifies for an SBIR grant?

Domestic, for-profit businesses with under 500 employees can qualify for the SBIR program. The owners must be predominantly US citizens. These are the basic qualifications. But you should consider another detail: you won’t qualify if your idea doesn’t meet one of the participating government agencies’ needs.

You should research available topics and ensure you can develop a unique, unproven solution to a specific agency’s needs. Click here to determine your eligibility.

How long does it take to get an SBIR grant?

If you plan to save a tanking business with an SBIR grant, think again. The government doesn’t disperse funds quickly. It can take up to one year after proposal submission to receive the award and Phase I funding.

How competitive are SBIR grants?

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You won’t find the process of winning an SBIR grant easy. Typically, only ⅓ of first-time applicants receive an award.

In 2019, NIH awarded 1,329 grants out of a total of 6,084 applicants. That isn’t a high success rate, but these statistics shouldn’t discourage you!

If you’re asking about your chances of winning SBIR funding, you’re asking the wrong questions. That’s why we always say you shouldn’t make business plans around SBIR funding. Put faith in your idea and perfect your proposal – your proposal will set you apart from other applicants, make it stand out.

The SBIR program is a game-changer for folks typically disadvantaged either socially or economically – women and minorities are prime candidates and often win.

How does SBIR funding work?

Taxpayer dollars fund the SBIR program. Each year, the government sets aside roughly 2.2 billion dollars to finance cutting-edge technologies developed by small businesses (like yours).

The eleven agencies included in the SBIR program have annual research and development budgets. When those budgets exceed $100 million, the agency puts 3.2% of it towards the SBIR program.

A whopping 50% of SBIR funds come from the Department of Defense alone.

These grants are non-dilutive, meaning you’re getting money without having to give up control of your company. And you never have to pay it back.

As of 2020, agencies have doled nearly $259,613 to Phase I recipients and up to $1,730,751 for Phase II recipients. These awards are life-changing for many people and small businesses.

What is an STTR grant?

Group of Happy SBIR Grant Winners holding Light Bulbs above their heads

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is similar to the SBIR program. The only real difference is that STTR requires you to partner with a US non-profit research institution.

Out of the eleven agencies that participate in the SBIR program, only five take part in STTR. These are DODDOEHHSNASA, and NSF.

STTR awards are smaller than SBIR funds – the SBIR program has a larger pot of funds and receives more applicants.

SBIR is for me! How do I get started?

Are you ready to make the SBIR program leap? Do you qualify and feel confident that the world can benefit from your innovative product or service? That’s excellent!

But be prepared. The SBIR process is arduous, complicated, and time-consuming. The application process alone can consume as much as 200 hours! Wouldn’t you instead prefer to spend that time refining your idea? Of course, you would.

Many rules govern SBIR grants and countless compliance requirements. We’re here to help! We’re on a mission to end small business failures.

We’ve successfully assisted dreamers like you throughout the SBIR process. Whether it’s creating dynamic proposals that secure awards or managing the grant accounting, audits, and tax preparations, we are your SBIR experts!

Let us help you find SBIR success, so you can focus on making your dreams a reality!

Small Business Innovation Research Team

2021 & 2022 SBIR Deadlines: Simplifying The Process With Team 80

SBIR Deadlines

It’s easy. You’re a small business that has won the Phase I award through the SBIR program, and we are the accounting team that will help you through all the hurdles of winning the Phase II award.

You’ve just pushed through Phase I of the process and chances are pretty likely that you are feeling a little fatigued right now. It’s no surprise. You’ve just successfully established the technical merit and feasibility of your innovative idea, and because of your efforts, you’ve secured an award in a highly competitive program. That’s no small feat!

However, you’re not even close to being out of the woods yet. The standard SBIR deadlines for 2021 are coming up* at the beginning of January, and you haven’t even begun to write your proposal for Phase II. And that is not even the half of it.


We Are Your SBIR Accounting Experts

Did you know that if an SBIR agency is even considering granting you a Phase II award, they may require an in-depth pre-award “survey”? When it comes to Phase I of the SBIR program, the awards are typically smaller (no more than $150,000) so the government only expects a rudimentary system when it comes to your accounting. However, in Phase II the expectations will change drastically. Suddenly there is a LOT more money (up to $1 million compared to the possible $150,000 from Phase I) and the government will need to feel absolutely confident that your small business has a flawless accounting system.

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Right now, having an experienced accounting team that is well versed in all of the unique government rules required by the Federal Accounting Regulations is crucial. Don’t let this intimidate or discourage you; here comes the good part:

At Team 80, we understand ALL of the challenges you have yet to face and we are here to help further the R/R&D efforts that you’ve worked incredibly hard to initiate in Phase I. Allow us to take the confusing, complicated burden that is the SBIR program off your shoulders!

With over 20 years of extensive experience in government accounting, and having worked directly with agencies that participate in the SBIR programs, Team 80 has been able to successfully help small businesses (like yours) propose and WIN the SBIR research grants needed to develop their innovative ideas.

Using a “back-office accounting” approach, we provide an all-in-one solution for all of your accounting needs so that you don’t need to hire internally. We promise to save you money and time, and we utilize cloud-based accounting solutions, giving our expert help to set you up and keep you running smoothly with your specific SBIR accounting needs.

We also understand that many people are currently working from home right now which is why we offer remote SBIR accounting services.

  • Department of Agriculture
    1. USDA SBIR Phase I – 11/03/2021
    2. USDA SBIR Phase I – 10/06/2022
  • Department of Commerce
    1. NIST – 03/2022
    2. NOAA – 01/2022
  • Department of Defense:
    1. DoD 21.1 – 02/12/2021
    2. DoD 21.2 – 07/02/2021
    3. DoD 21.3 – 10/24/2021
    4. ARMY SBIR 2021.4 – 12/31/2021
    5. DARPA SBIR – 12/31/2021
    6. DARPA STTR – 12/31/2021
    7. SDA SBIR – 12/31/2021
    8. SDA STTR – 12/31/2021
  • NASA – 03/29/2021
  • Department of Education – 01/2022
  • Department of Energy –  02/2022
  • Homeland Security 2021.1 – 01/22/2021
  • Department of Transportation 2021 – 03/20/2021
  • Environmental Protection Agency – 08/2022
  • NSF  – 03/03/2021, 06/03/2021, 09/03/2021, 12/02/2021
    1. NSF SBIR Phase I (2021) – 12/02/2021
    2. NSF STTR Phase I (2021) – 12/02/2021
    3. NSF SBIR Phase II (2021) – 12/02/2021
    4. NSF STTR Phase II (2021) – 12/02/2021

  • Department of Health & Human Services (NIH, CDC, FDA):
    1. PHS/NIH (Grants – 3 Closing Dates) – 01/05/2021, 05/05/2021, 09/05/2021
    2. PHS/NIH (Contracts) – 10/22/2021 
  • HHS STTR (REDI) – 10/27/2021
  • HHS SBIR (REDI) – 10/27/2021
  • HHS SBIR (CDC & NIH) Contract Proposals  – 10/28/201
  • HHS SBIR (Innovative Approaches for Improving Environmental Health Literacy) – 11/03/2021
  • HHS STTR (Innovative Approaches for Improving Environmental Health Literacy) – 11/03/2021
  • HHS SBIR (Oral Biodevices) – 01/05/2022
  • HHS STTR (Oral Biodevices) – 01/05/2022
  • HHS SBIR (Delivery of Genome Editors) – 01/06/2022
  • HHS STTR (Delivery of Genome Editors) – 01/06/2022
  • HHS STTR (I-RED) – 01/06/2022
  • HHS SBIR (Basket Clinical Trials of Drugs Targeting Shared Molecular Etiologies in Multiple Rare Diseases) – 01/13/2022
  • HHS STTR (Advancing Validated Drug Targets for Substance Use Disorders) – 02/19/2022
  • HHS SBIR (Advancing Validated Drug Targets for Substance Use Disorders) – 02/19/2022
  • HHS SBIR/STTR (CRP) – 04/06/2022
  • HHS SBIR (PHS 2021-2 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC and FDA for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications) – 04/06/2022
  • HHS STTR (PHS 2021-2 Omnibus Solicitation of the NIH, CDC and FDA for Small Business Innovation Research Grant Applications) – 04/06/2022
  • HHS STTR (NIH Grant Applications) – 04/06/2022
  • HHS SBIR (NIH & CDC Grant Applications) – 04/06/2022
  • HHS SBIR (Treatment of Individuals at Risk for Suicide) – 06/16/2022
  • HHS SBIR (Novel Synthetic Nucleic Acid Technology Development ) – 06/24/2022
  • HHS SBIR (Interactive Digital Media STEM Resources for Pre-College) – 09/23/2022
  • HHS STTR (Interactive Digital Media STEM Resources for Pre-College) – 09/23/2022
  • HHS SBIR (Alzheimer: (AD) and (ADRD)) – 09/05/2022
  • HHS STTR (Alzheimer: (AD) and (ADRD)) – 09/05/2022
  • HHS SBIR (Late-Stage Translation of Biomedical and Behavioral Research Results in Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases) – 09/06/2022
  • HHS STTR ( HEAL Initiative: Enhanced Pain Management) – 09/08/2022
  • HHS SBIR( HEAL Initiative: Enhanced Pain Management) – 09/08/2022
  • HHS SBIR (Early Diagnosis and Prognosis of Type 1 Diabetes) – 10/07/2022
  •  HHS SBIR (Loop Hormone Replacement Platforms) – 10/08/2022
  • HHS SBIR (Solutions for the Advancement of Cell Replacement Therapies for Type 1 Diabetes) – 10/08/2022

So, you have made it this far in your SBIR journey–why not let us take over from here so that you can get back to focusing on what matters most?

SBIR Data Rights & DFAR 252.227-7018: What's Changed?

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Let's start off with a refresher as to what data rights are and why they are important.

The SBIR/STTR Program allows small companies to maintain ownership of recorded technical information of a scientific or technical nature, including computer databases and software documentation, that is generated under an SBIR/STTR funding agreement (i.e. grants, contracts, cooperative agreements).  The data must be first produced by the small business in performance of the funding agreement, be generally unknown, and not been made available to others by the contractor or to the Government.  It does not include computer software or data incidental to the funding agreement’s administration (i.e. accounting, cost or pricing or management information). The government is granted a limited non-exclusive royalty-free worldwide license to use SBIR Form Fit and Function Data. In other words, the government cannot disclose this data outside the government. This protection applies to all phases of the SBIR/STTR Program.  For small businesses, this data is the technological underpinning of the potential product (s) it hopes to sell.  In disclosing this data, the government is basically inviting other entities (i.e. multi-national corporations) to use the data without any investment or effort and potentially diminish the rights and associated economic opportunities of the small business. To receive the protections accorded to SBIR/STTR Data, any SBIR/STTR Data that is delivered must be marked with the appropriate SBIR/STTR Data Rights legend or notice, in accordance with agency procedures.

Each SBIR/STTR funding agreement includes the DFAR clause 252.227-7018. Rights in noncommercial technical data and computer software - Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, which states that the protection period commences with the funding agreement award and ends five years after the period of performance ends for the award from which the data was generated.  The protection period has been extended to 20 years per SBIR/STTR Directive effective May 2, 2019, page 104 8(h)(4); however the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFAR) have not been updated to reflect this change.  We have a client who recently received a new SBIR Phase II contract that included DFAR 252.227-7018 as well as a Special Contract Requirement Section that detailed Data Rights Protection for five years. During contract negotiations upon our request on behalf of our client the contract was revised to include the 20 - year protection period.

Until the DFAR is updated to reflect the 20 - year protection period, make sure you request that your contracts include this revised period.