STTR Program Unlocking Innovation (Up to $250,000 Funding) – APPLY NOW

The STTR program is a government effort to encourage small businesses and research institutions to work together for innovative projects. It gives grants to small businesses, administered by different government agencies, to help them with research and development that could lead to marketable products or services.

STTR Program
STTR Program

Grant Deadline

STTR program deadlines have standard application due dates on September 5, January 5, and April 5. If these dates land on weekends or holidays, they shift to the next business day. Thus, applicants need to keep a close eye on the specific agency they are applying to for any changes in deadlines. Usually, agencies release calls for proposals with various deadlines all year round.

Significance of STTR

The STTR program is crucial for overcoming the challenge of turning research into practical products or services that can succeed in the market. Here’s why it’s so important:

  • Teamwork: The program insists on collaboration between small businesses and research institutions, blending business creativity with academic expertise to apply research to real-world problems.
  • Access to Resources: Small businesses often lack resources for in-depth research. By teaming up with research institutions, STTR participants get access to top-notch facilities, special equipment, and the knowledge needed for advanced research.
  • Reducing Risks: The program recognizes the risks in innovative projects. Offering financial support in two phases (Phase I for proof-of-concept and Phase II for further development), helps manage the risks linked to technological innovation.
  • Checking the Market: Working together, small businesses and research institutions evaluate how well an innovation could perform in the market. This ensures that the technology aligns with what the market needs and has a good chance of succeeding.
  • Speeding Up Market Entry: By focusing on more than just theoretical research, the STTR program speeds up the process of turning innovations into market-ready products. This speed is crucial for staying competitive in fast-changing industries and making sure innovative technologies don’t get stuck in the research phase.

STTR Program Objectives

The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program is a federal initiative designed to foster cooperative research and development partnerships between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions, such as universities or federal research laboratories. The primary objectives of the STTR program include:

  • Technology Transfer: Facilitate the transfer of innovative technologies from research institutions to small businesses, to commercialize these technologies and bring them to market.
  • Small Business Innovation: Stimulate and support technological innovation within small businesses by providing them with access to cutting-edge research and development expertise.
  • Research Collaboration: Encourage collaboration and partnerships between small businesses and research institutions to jointly conduct research and development projects.
  • Economic Growth: Promote economic growth by fostering the development of new products, processes, or services that have the potential to create jobs and contribute to the nation’s competitiveness.
  • Scientific Excellence: Enhance the scientific and technological capabilities of both small businesses and research institutions by leveraging their respective strengths in collaborative projects.
  • Commercialization: Accelerate the commercialization of research results by supporting the transition of innovative concepts and technologies from the laboratory to the marketplace.

Grant Amount

STTR Program Phases and amounts are as follows:

  • Phase I: Establish technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential. Funding is generally $50,000 – $250,000 for 6 months (SBIR) or 1 year (STTR).
  • Phase II: Continue R&D efforts from Phase I. Funding is based on Phase I results and project merit. Usually $750,000 for 2 years. Only Phase I awardees are eligible.
  • Phase III: Pursue commercialization objectives. STTR programs don’t fund Phase III. It may involve non-SBIR/STTR contracts for products, processes, or services for U.S. Government use.

STTR Grant Eligibility

To qualify for the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant program, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Small Business Status: The business must meet size standards defined by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
  • Collaborative Partnership: Partner with a nonprofit research institution, like a university or federal lab, for joint research and development.
  • Principal Investigator: Appoint a Principal Investigator (PI) to lead the project, playing a crucial role in its execution.
  • Project Alignment: Ensure the proposed project aligns with the goals of the participating federal agency, focusing on scientific research, technology development, and innovation.
  • Innovation and Commercialization: Showcase innovation with a clear path to commercialization, bridging the gap between research and market-ready applications.
  • S. Ownership: Typically, the applying small business should be at least 51% owned and controlled by U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Application Process

To apply for the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant, follow these simple steps:

  • Find Funding: Go to the official website of the agency giving the STTR Grant, like NIH or NSF. Look for the STTR solicitation in the funding opportunities section. (
  • Read the Rules: Read the document that explains what the agency wants for the STTR Grant. Understand their priorities, focus areas, and what they need from you. Don’t miss the deadlines.
  • Team Agreement: Agree with your small business and a nonprofit research institution. Write down how you’ll work together on the research project. This agreement is vital for your STTR application.
  • Plan Your Project: Write a detailed plan for your project. Explain the technical and business parts of your research and development. Talk about your goals, how you’ll do the work, and how your project could become a business.
  • Choose a Leader: Pick someone to lead your project, called a Principal Investigator (PI). This person will be crucial for making your project happen.
  • Money Matters: Create a careful budget for your project. Say where the STTR funds will go, following the rules set by the agency.
  • Submit Online: Send in your STTR application through the agency’s website. Make sure it looks right and has all the needed documents.
  • Check Your Application: Look over your application again to make sure it follows all the rules. Check that you filled out all the forms, got all the signatures, and added every document they asked for.

Documentation and Requirements

To apply for the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant, you’ll typically need to provide specific documentation and meet certain requirements:

  • Project Proposal: Develop a detailed project proposal outlining the technical and commercial aspects of your research and development initiative. Cover key elements such as objectives, methodology, innovation, and potential for commercialization.
  • Consortium Agreement: Formulate a consortium agreement between your small business and a nonprofit research institution. Clearly define the collaborative research and development efforts and include this agreement as a crucial part of your STTR application.
  • Principal Investigator (PI): Designate a Principal Investigator who will lead the research project. The PI is a key team member responsible for project execution.
  • Budget: Prepare a comprehensive budget detailing how the STTR funds will be allocated. Ensure that your budget aligns with the guidelines provided by the funding agency.
  • Resume/CV: Provide a detailed resume or curriculum vitae highlighting your educational and professional background. This helps the agency assess your qualifications for leading the project.
  • Application Forms: Complete all required application forms specified by the funding agency. Ensure accurate and complete information on these forms.
  • Online Submission: Submit your STTR application through the agency’s online submission portal. Follow the specified format and guidelines for online submission.
  • Verification: Double-check your application to ensure it meets all criteria and guidelines outlined in the solicitation. Verify that all required forms, signatures, and supporting documentation are included.

Review Process

STTR proposals go through a careful review by experts. They assess things like how good the research idea is, the team’s skills, the chances of making it a business, and the innovation’s impact. This helps choose projects with the best shot at success and making a difference in the economy.


The STTR program is crucial for sparking innovation and teamwork between small businesses and research institutions. It gives money and help for risky but promising projects, helping create advanced technologies that boost the economy and enhance our society.

If you want to apply, make sure to check the guidelines from the agency involved to succeed in your application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who can lead the research project in the STTR program?

The small business chooses a Principal Investigator (PI), often a key team member responsible for guiding the research and development project.

Why is innovation important in the STTR program?

Innovation is crucial. The program aims to connect research with practical applications, supporting projects with high-risk, high-reward potential.

How does the STTR program boost the economy?

By funding advanced technologies and encouraging teamwork, the STTR program drives economic growth through innovative product and solution development.



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