Small Business Innovation Research Program Phase I (SBIR)

National Science Foundation (NSF) - NSF 19-554

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Investigators: The following program summary is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It does not replace the sponsor’s actual proposal solicitation. Always review the most recent version of the sponsor’s full proposal solicitation to verify that the deadline has not changed and to identify the most current program requirements.

Program Summary

Important:

Effective March 2019:

NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Phase I proposers are now REQUIRED to submit a three-page "Project Pitch" that outlines the project objectives, technical innovation and associated technical risks. NSF is introducing a new process for the submission of SBIR/STTR Phase I proposed projects. The goals of this new process are (i) to provide specific feedback to potential applicants regarding whether or not their proposed project is a good fit for the program prior to initiating the full proposal submission process, and (ii) to allow greater agility and flexibility in receiving and evaluating full proposals, ensuring that proposers do not expend time or resources in the development of full proposals where the proposal goals are clearly not appropriate given the NSF SBIR/STTR program objectives. 

To accommodate this new requirement and the subsequent submission of invited full proposals, the NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I program will also offer full proposal submission windows, as opposed to specific deadlines, in order to support a more flexible schedule for full proposal submission and review.  (See "Additional Comments" below for information on project pitches and submission windows.)

Introduction to the Program:

The NSF SBIR program focuses on transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial potential and/or societal benefit. Unlike fundamental research, the NSF SBIR program supports startups and small businesses in the creation of innovative, disruptive technologies, getting discoveries out of the lab and into the market.

The NSF SBIR Program funds research and development. The program is designed to provide equity-free funding and entrepreneurial support at the earliest stages of company and technology development.

Program Objectives. The NSF SBIR/STTR program funds costs related to research and development (R&D) tasks only. In this context, R&D is defined as:

  1. A systematic, intensive study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the subject studied;
  2. A systematic study directed specifically toward applying new knowledge to meet a recognized need; or
  3. A systematic application of knowledge toward the production of useful materials, devices, and systems or methods, including design, development, and improvement of prototypes and new processes to meet specific requirements.

An SBIR Phase I project must be focused on using R&D to determine the scientific and technical feasibility of a new concept or innovation that could be developed into new products, processes, or services. A successful Phase I proposal demonstrates that the NSF-funded R&D will significantly reduce the technical risk involved in bringing these new products, processes, or services to market. The only required deliverable of an SBIR Phase I grant is a report describing the technical accomplishments and outcomes of the Phase I project.

Proposers who submit Project Pitches that do not meet the program's objectives of supporting innovative technologies that show promise of commercial and/or societal impact and involve a level of technical risk will not be invited to submit a full proposal. Full proposals not responsive to the above considerations may be returned without review. Phase I proposals returned without review by NSF are NOT eligible for reconsideration under the same program solicitation; however, proposals may be resubmitted under a subsequent solicitation after substantial revisions have been made.

Program Details

One (1).
One (1).
  • Research project
  • Business
  • Engineering
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • U.S. citizens may apply
  • U.S. permanent residents may apply
  • Foreign nationals may apply
May not exceed $225,000 for Phase 1.
6 to 12 months.
150.
Voluntary cost share is not allowed

Submission Window Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter's local time):

March 04, 2019 - June 13, 2019

Small businesses can submit a Project Pitch at any time. Small businesses that have been invited to submit a full proposal can submit at any time during a submission window.

June 14, 2019 - December 12, 2019

Small businesses can submit a Project Pitch at any time. Small businesses that have been invited to submit a full proposal can submit at any time during a submission window.

Rice Internal Due Dates

Click on the calendar icon beside each due date that you would like to add to your Google calendar.
03/20/2019
03/21/2019
04/04/2019
04/19/2019
04/18/2019

Sponsor Due Dates

Click on the calendar icon beside each due date that you would like to add to your Google calendar.
(Not applicable)
(Not applicable)
06/13/2019

Application Instructions

To complete the letter of intent (LOI) form and apply for this limited submission funding opportunity, log in and then click the "Submit an LOI" button in the "Actions" panel above.

Upon submission, you should receive an automatic reply indicating that your submission was received. If you do not receive such a reply, please contact the Office of Proposal Development (OPD) or the Office of Corporate and Foundation Relations (OCFR).