SBIR Funding Opportunity: National Science Foundation

April 3, 2014

The National Science Foundation has opened their SBIR/STTR solicitation. The solicitation is due June 10. The NSF grant awardees receive a grant of up to $150,000 for a 6-month development/feasibility project. You can then compete for a second grant of up to $750,000 over a 2 year period, with the aim of advancing the technology toward commercial deployment.

NSF awards grants in 9 areas:
• Educational Technologies and Applications (EA)
• Information and Communication Technologies (IC)
• 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

Of particular interest to most startups is the “Information Technology Applications” subcomponent which states:

IC2. Information Technology Applications
Applications that will benefit society, with particular emphasis on internet-based applications. Examples of relevant technical areas include (but are not limited to) mobile technology; the “Internet of Things”; cyber-physical systems; automation of knowledge work; cloud computing; cloud-based data management; cloud-based IT services; IT enabled commerce; big data and advanced analytics; data mining and information services; data visualization; predictive systems; social networking applications; neural networks; smart grid applications; smart building management; traffic flow optimization; and remote medical services.

The NSF grant is particularly well suited for start-ups and focuses on commercialization. NSF also allows companies to email program managers before applying which is a huge advantage. The email should consist of a 1-2 page executive summary discussing the following aspects of the project: 1) the company and team, 2) the market opportunity, value proposition, and customers, 3) the technology/innovation, and 4) the competition.

For more information about the NSF grant (and to see the program managers) please click here.
For information about the Information and Communication Technologies topic please click here.

The Department of Small & Local Business Development is available to help companies walk through the process and support proposals. For more information, contact Phil Reeves at

About the Small Business Innovation Research Program

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program stimulates technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening the role of small business concerns in meeting Federal research and development needs, increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.

To learn more about the program and the solicitation click HERE.

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