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

RFA-MD-22-004: Innovations for Healthy Living - Improving Minority Health and Eliminating Health Disparities (R43/R44 - Clinical Trial Optional)

RFA-MD-22-003: Technologies for Improving Minority Health and Eliminating Health Disparities (R41/R42- Clinical Trial Optional)

Program Description

The Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program (SBIR/STTR) is a highly competitive federal program mandated by Congress as a part of the Veterans Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-50). Each year, designated federal departments and agencies award a reserved portion of their research and development funds to small businesses and to partnerships between small businesses and academic research institutions to strengthen their role in federal research and development and bring innovative technologies to market.

The NIMHD SBIR/STTR Program gives high priority to research activities designed to empower health disparity communities to achieve health equity through health education, disease prevention, and partnering in community-based, problem-driven research.


  • Use small businesses to stimulate technological innovation
  • Strengthen the role of small business in meeting federal research and development needs and increase small business participation in this role
  • Increase private sector commercialization of innovations developed through federal research and development
  • Foster and encourage participation by socially and economically disadvantaged small business concerns and woman-owned business concerns in the SBIR/STTR program


The SBIR/STTR Program has three phases. Phase I (Planning) provides up to 1 year of funding to establish the technical and scientific merit and feasibility of proposed research and development efforts. This is the SBIR phase and does not require a formal partnership with an academic institution.

Phase II (Research and Development), lasting 2 years, supports the research and development efforts initiated in Phase I with an increased focus on the commercial potential of the project.

In Phase III, the grantee is encouraged to secure non-SBIR/STTR funds to bring innovative technologies to the commercial market.


Only small businesses located and operating in the United States may apply for SBIR/STTR funding. A small business may not have more than 500 employees, including its affiliates.

Page updated March 4, 2022