The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are similar in almost every way. However, the differences are highlighted below. More specific information is available via this video.
Soliciting Pre-Submission Feedback
Potential proposers may (but are NOT required to) email a 1-2 page executive summary to an SBIR/STTR Program Director to help gauge whether a project meets the program's intellectual merit and commercial impact criteria. The summary should discuss: the company and team; the market opportunity, value proposition, and customers; the technology/innovation; and the competition. Program Director contact information can be found on the technology area pages below. Please note that responsiveness of Program Directors will be limited in the 2 weeks leading up to the solicitation deadline.
NSF SBIR/STTR is currently soliciting proposals in the following nine topics areas. The topics and subtopics guide the logistics of the review process but do not affect award decisions. In fact, NSF SBIR/STTR recognizes that innovation often can't be categorized. Therefore, NSF SBIR/STTR accepts proposals in any area of technology that shows high commercial potential, not just those listed below.
§ Educational Technologies and Applications (EA)
§ Information Technologies (IT)
§ Internet of Things (I)
§ Semiconductors (S) and Photonic (PH) Devices and Materials
§ Electronic Hardware, Robotics and Wireless Technologies (EW)
§ Advanced Manufacturing and Nanotechnology (MN)
§ Advanced Materials and Instrumentation (MI)
§ Chemical and Environmental Technologies (CT)
§ Biological Technologies (BT)
§ Smart Health (SH) and Biomedical (BM) Technologies
§ For all subtopic descriptions in one (searchable) PDF, click here.