The SBIR Program was established by Congress in 1982 to fund research and development (R&D) by small businesses of 500 or fewer employees. The STTR Program was established in 1992 to fund cooperative R&D projects with small businesses and non-profit U.S. research institutions, such as universities. Eleven federal agencies participate in the SBIR program, of which five participate in the STTR Program (*).
Each agency administers its own program within guidelines established by Congress in the Small Business Act and by SBA in the STTR/SBIR Policy Directive. These agencies designate R&D topics in their solicitations and accept proposals from small businesses. Awards are made on a competitive basis after proposal evaluation. The Small Business Administration’s Office of Investment and Innovation and SBIR/STTR Program website provide additional information regarding the SBIR/STTR programs.