SBIR/STTR Program Changes

In late January, NIH issued the 2013 omnibus solicitations for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. As mandated and recently re-authorized by Congress, NIGMS and other NIH components have set aside funds for these programs focused on developing innovative technologies with commercial applications.

Starting with the April 5, 2013, receipt date, all applications must follow the instructions and guidelines in the 2013 solicitations. A few key changes are:

  1. The suggested guidelines for allowable budget requests are now $150,000 in total support for Phase I (R41/R43) and $1,000,000 in total support for Phase II (R42/R44). Note that total support includes the direct and indirect costs and fees for the entire length of the project. With appropriate justification, applicants may exceed the budget guidelines by up to 50 percent ($225,000 in total support for Phase I and $1,500,000 in total support for Phase II, a hard cap). NIH, including NIGMS, has received a limited waiver from the Small Business Administration to exceed the hard cap for specific topics.
  2. As in the past, NIH offers applicants for the SBIR and STTR programs access to various technical assistance programs to help move the funded projects toward commercialization. Alternatively, awardees may now directly request up to $5,000 to use for technical assistance of their own choosing.
  3. All applicant organizations must complete registration with the System for Award Management (SAM),  and eRA Commons. Soon, all small business concerns seeking SBIR or STTR funding will also need to register with the Small Business Administration Exit icon.

NIH plans to publish guidelines later this year to explain how small businesses with venture capital investors may use the SBIR and STTR funding mechanisms.

The NIH SBIR/STTR Web site has a wealth of information covering all aspects of the two programs, and additional updates will be posted there. I am happy to answer questions and discuss potential proposals with applicants. E-mail me at or call 301-594-3827.

UPDATE: NIH has reissued the SBIR and STTR funding opportunity announcements. View comments section for details.


3 Replies to “SBIR/STTR Program Changes”

  1. If you’re part of a small business competing for SBIR awards, you may be interested in attending the National SBIR Conference being held near Washington, D.C., on May 14-16, 2013.

  2. NIH has reissued the SBIR and STTR Omnibus Grant Solicitation (PA-13-234, PA-13-235), thus making the previous ones inactive (PA-13-088, PA-13-089). All applications must use the new funding opportunity announcements (FOAs).

    There are three important changes in the new FOAs:

    Majority venture-capital owed companies are now eligible to apply for the NIH SBIR program;
    All small business concerns must now register with the SBA Company Registry; and
    NIGMS will not accept applications to the new SBIR or STTR FOA that exceed the hard cap ($225,000 total cost for Phase I applications and $1,500,000 for Phase II applications). 

    Please see the NIH SBIR/STTR Web site for more information.

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