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



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 HHS SBIR/STTR programs, the objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential of the proposed R/R&D efforts and to determine the quality of performance of the small business awardee organization prior to providing further federal support in Phase II. Phase I funding and period of performance typically, does not exceed $150,000 and 6 months for an SBIR project, or 12 months for an STTR project. If the Phase I project is successful, companies can apply for Phase II funding. Phase II project funding typically does not exceed $1,000,000 for a period of 24 months to the R/R&D efforts initiated in Phase I on those projects that have validated their scientific and technical merit and commercial potential.

As Congressional Authority allows, HHS also carries a Direct-to-Phase II SBIR program. This program was instituted so that a federal funding agency may “issue a Phase II award to a small business concern that did not receive a Phase I award for that research/research & development”. Essentially, if you are further along the development pipeline that a Phase I intends, you might be eligible to move directly to a Phase II project, and skip the initial “gate”. Direct to Phase II opportunities are listed separately from any solicitation, so pay attention to what programs allow for this mechanism. Also, this program is renewed on a periodic basis though, so please be aware of the status of the Congressional Authority before researching this option.

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 NIH, please visit this link: