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Homeland Security

Science and Technology Directorate Small Business Innovation Research


The Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) in the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) was initiated in 2004.  DHS’s goal is to increase the participation of innovative and creative small businesses in Federal research/research and development programs and challenge industry to bring innovative homeland security solutions to reality.  The DHS SBIR Program is focused on near-term commercialization and delivery of operational prototypes to Federal, state and local emergency responders and managers.  The Program’s customers are internal DHS entities, and Federal, state, and local emergency responders and managers.  Two organizations within the Department of Homeland Security have SBIR programs:  S&T and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO).

The SBIR program, created in 1982 through the Small Business Innovation Development Act and reauthorized in 2011, is one of the largest public–private partnerships in the United States. The SBIR program encourages small businesses to provide quality research and to develop new processes, products, and technologies in support of the missions of the U.S. government.


The SBIR Program is led by the SBIR Program Director, Elissa Sobolewski.


Awards Overview

In general, Phase I awards are limited to $100,000 for the Science and Technology Directorate SBIR projects and $150,000 for Domestic Nuclear Detection Office SBIR projects. Phase I projects are up to six months in duration. Options may be exercised for S&T SBIR Phase I projects selected for Phase II. Phase I awards are typically made within 45 days after selection.

Phase II proposals will be reviewed and awards will be made incrementally. In general, Phase II awards are limited to $750,000 for S&T SBIR projects and $1,000,000 for DNDO SBIR projects. Phase II projects are up to 24 months in duration. Options may be exercised for S&T SBIR Phase II projects that have firm commitments for follow-on funding.

Solicitation Details: DNDO SBIR and S&T Directorate SBIR

DNDO currently issues one solicitation per year. The DNDO SBIR topics are chosen to support mission objectives. Contact the program manager at

The S&T Directorate SBIR program issues two solicitations per year, generally in November and May. Topics for solicitations are developed by program managers in each of the S&T divisions. The annual solicitations consist of topics relevant to the following S&T Directorate organizations:

SBIR topics generally address the needs of seven Department operational units: U.S. Coast Guard, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Federal Emergency Management Agency, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Secret Service, as well as first responders.


For more information about the Department SBIR Program, contact Elissa (Lisa) Sobolewski, Department of Homeland Security SBIR Program Director, at 202-254-6768 or via e-mail at You may also contact the SBIR Program Office at

Last Published Date: October 17, 2014
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