Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

Getting Started on Phase I

How Do You Participate in SBIR?

Each year, the services and defense agencies within the DoD (commonly referred to as DoD Components) issue three SBIR BAAs and three STTR BAAs describing their R&D needs and inviting small businesses to submit proposals. To be considered for these R&D awards, follow the five steps below:

  • Determine Eligibility
  • Find a Topic
  • Ask Questions
  • Prepare Proposal
  • Submit Proposal

Step 1: Determine Eligibility

Review size and ownership eligibility requirements a company must meet to participate in the programs. Requirements differ for each program; be sure you understand the limitations before moving on to the next steps.

Step 2: Find a Topic

Review the Current Announcements to identify topics of interest. On the Current Announcement page you will find the BAA Topics for each Component in HTML, PDF and MS Word formats. The links in this table list R&D topics either in Pre-Release or Open for proposal submission plus additional instructions and requirements specific to the issuing Component.

The easiest way to identify topics of interest is to use the Topics Search EngineExternal Link, rather than reading every topic in each Component's section. Once you find a topic, return to the Current Announcement page to read the component-specific instructions for that topic.

Step 3: Ask Questions

During the BAA period, communication between small businesses and topic authors is highly encouraged. During the Pre-Release period, you may talk directly with topic authors to ask technical questions about the topics. Their names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses are listed within each BAA topic. For reasons of competitive fairness, direct communication between proposers and topic authors is not allowed during the Open period when DoD is accepting proposals for each BAA. However, proposers may still submit written questions about BAA topics through the SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System (SITIS)External Link. In SITIS the questioner and respondent are anonymous and all questions and answers are posted electronically for general viewing until the BAA closes. All proposers are advised to monitor SITIS during the Open BAA period for questions and answers and other significant information relevant to their SBIR/STTR topics of interest.

Step 4: Prepare Your Proposal

All SBIR/STTR proposals must be prepared in accordance with the Proposal Preparation section of the program Announcement.

Once you have logged into the SBIR Submission web site, you may prepare and submit a Phase I Proposal, prepare or update your Company Commercialization Report, review proposal submission instructions or get answers to frequently asked questions about the submission process.

Step 5: Submit Proposal

All SBIR/STTR proposals must be prepared and submitted electronically through the DoD SBIR/STTR Electronic Submission websiteExternal Link and in accordance with the program Announcement. Once you have completed your proposal and reviewed it, you're finished! There is no "Submit" button. All complete proposal packages not marked for deletion will automatically be submitted at the BAA close date. When the BAA closes, the site will no longer accept changes although you will be able to view and print the proposals you have submitted.

"Step-By-Step Guide to Preparing and Submitting, click on link for Video SBIR/STTR Proposal."