SBIR 101: Agencies, Phases, and Technology Scale-up

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants are the federal government’s primary mechanism for encouraging and fostering research at the small business level. Every federal agency with a dedicated research and development budget is required to assign proportional levels of funding to these programs each year, making them a reliable and consistent source of funding for small businesses with innovative technology and research concepts.

The structure of SBIR programs reflect their objective- the scaling up of conceptual research to a position of commercial realization. Most agencies make SBIR awards in two phases; Phase I awards support ideas at the concept level and provide funding for initial research and maturation; Phase II awards fund prior Phase I awards with the likelihood of commercialization. Some agencies provide Phase III awards, which are generally non-monetary and take the form of administrative and sanctioned assistance to attract investment and external funding from the private sector.

McAllister & Quinn has successfully won several SBIR awards at all phases by assisting small technology and manufacturing companies with submitting proposals to the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and National Science Foundation. These awards have ranged from $225,000 to over $1.5 million total dollars over multiple phases.