DoD is one of the five federal departments that participates in both the SBIR and STTR programs.

Typically, DoD objectives for the SBIR and STTR programs include stimulating technological innovation, strengthening the role of small business in meeting DoD research and development needs, fostering and encouraging participation by minority and disadvantaged persons in technological innovation, and increasing the commercial application of DoD-supported research or research and development results. DoD utilizes the SBIR/STTR programs to answer critical needs and problems that they or their warfighters face. For this reason, eligible projects must fulfill an R&D need identified by the DoD and have the potential to be developed into a product or service for commercial or defense markets.

Thirteen different service components participate in the DoD SBIR/STTR programs, Army, Navy, Air Force, Missile Defense Agency, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Joint Science and Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense, US Special Operations Command, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Microelectronics Activity, the Office of Secretary of Defense, and the Defense Health Program. Due to differences between these service components and their operations, topic areas will vary greatly, covering anything from flight systems, to health intervention, and even to immersive digital training environments.



To submit a proposal package, in addition to the general SBA requirements, a business must have registered through the DoD SBIR/STTR business webportal https://sbir.defensebusiness.org/. This is the portal that businesses will submit SBIR and STTR packages, submit technical questions outside of the pre-release period, and find training and advocacy materials.

Mechanics of the Program

Under the DoD SBIR/STTR programs, the purpose of a Phase I project is to determine, to the extent possible, the scientific, technical, and commercial merit and feasibility of ideas the innovative idea. Phase I funding and period of performance is varied by service component, but typically, is between $100,000 to $167,000 and 6 to 12 months. If the Phase I project is successful, companies can apply for Phase II funding. Phase II project funding typically awards between $500,000 to $1,100,000 for a period of 24 months to verify the principal research or research and development effort and is expected to produce a well-defined deliverable prototype at the completion of the program.

Additional Funding

DoD has several programs to help a business continue foundation development or commercialization of their innovative product.

According to program guidelines, DoD is able to offer up to one additional, sequential Phase II award for continued work on the project. This Phase II sequential submission follows normal funding and period of performance levels.

The DoD Phase II Enhancement Policy, certain service components may award additional Phase II SBIR funding if the company can match the additional SBIR funds with non-SBIR funds from DoD acquisition programs or the private sector. Phase II Enhancements may extend an existing Phase II contract for up to one year and provide up to $537,500 in funds as long as they are matched from non-SBIR funds from either DoD non-SBIR Programs or from an outside investor.

Each of the DoD military departments (Navy, Army, and Air Force) have established Commercialization Readiness Programs (CRP). These programs are to designed to accelerate the transition of SBIR and STTR funded technologies to Phase III, and include activities that enhance the connectivity among SBIR and STTR firms, prime contractors, and DoD science & technology and acquisition communities. As each CRP programs is different between the individual military departments, you will want to find the CRP requirements, eligibility, and implied work plans on those programmatic websites.

Additionally awardees are always encouraged to seek other funding mechanisms to transition their work into a Phase III.



For a full listing of agency resources and NM FAST resources, relevant to an SBIR or STTR submission to DoD, please visit this link: