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Small Business Innovation Research Program

Small Business Innovation Research Program

SBIR U.S. buzzword mapThe Small Business Innovation Research (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 U.S. small businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide quality research and to develop new processes, products and technologies in support of the missions of the U.S. government. Administered by DHS S&T, the DHS SBIR Program supports a full spectrum of SBIR initiatives serving all components. DHS’ Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Office (CWMD) has an SBIR program office that focuses on their needs and collaborates with S&T to conduct outreach, explore new initiatives, and coordinate schedules so that all DHS SBIR topics are published in one annual solicitation.

Announcing the DHS SBIR 22.1 Pre-solicitation!

We’ve released 11 topics for the new Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) 22.1 Pre-solicitation. During the pre-solicitation period, small businesses can review topics and ask technical questions regarding the topic areas.

Full topic descriptions for the titles listed below can be viewed on Technical questions should be directed to the technical point of contact for each topic, listed in the 22.1 SBIR Topic Areas document. Small businesses have until 5:00 p.m. ET on December 14, 2021 to submit their questions.

The planned DHS topics are:

  • DHS221-001 - Automated Artificial Intelligence (AI) Distress Alerts and Monitoring
  • DHS221-002 - Rapidly deployable countermeasures at protected perimeters and structures
  • DHS221-003 - Non-Invasive and Real-time Detection of Counterfeit Microelectronics
  • DHS221-004 - Broadband Push-to-Talk Interoperability Platform
  • DHS221-005 - A Step Towards Agent Agnostic Detection of Biological Hazards
  • DHS221-006 - Streamlined Airport Checkpoint Screening for Limited Mobility Passengers
  • DHS221-007 - Mass Fatality Tracking System (MFTS)
  • DHS221-008 - Next Generation Semiconductor-Based Spectroscopic Personal Radiation Detectors (SPRDs)
  • DHS221-009 - Field Forward Diagnostics for Select Agent List Toxins
  • DHS221-010 - Wearable Detector for Aerosolized Chemical Threats
  • DHS221-011 - From Port-Side to Pen-Side: Low Cost Detection/Diagnostics for High-Consequence Transboundary or Nationally Reportable Animal Diseases, Particularly Those with Zoonotic Propensity

S&T SBIR Program

Small Business Innovation Research Program describing the three-phase competitive award system. Small Business Innovation Research Program; Phase I - Scientific and Technical Feasibility Study (Proof of Concept): Typically $150,000 threshold, Funded with SBIR funds, 2/3 of work must be performed by the small business, All work must be performed in the U.S., Typically 5 months in duration, Up to an additional $6,500 may be provided for Technical and Business Assistance, Participation in DHS/NSF I-Corps Program at $50K. Phase II Full Research R&D (Prototype Demonstration): Typically $1,000,000 threshold, Funded with SBIR funds, 50% of work must be performed by the small business, Typically 24 months in duration, All work must be performed in the U.S, $50K may be proposed for technical and business assistance (inclusive of threshold), Potential for Commercialization Readiness Pilot Program Funds. Phase III Commercialization: Funded with non-SBIR dollars, No dollar or time limits, Size standards do not apply, For work that derives from, extends or completes Phase I/Phase II efforts, Can be directed award; competition satisfied in Phase I & II.The DHS SBIR Program is a three-phase competitive award system which provides qualified small business concerns with opportunities to propose innovative ideas that meet specific homeland security research and development technology needs.

Phase I typically funds up to $150,000 for five months to determine the scientific and technical merit, and feasibility, of the proposed effort. Phase I awards are typically made within 45 days after selection.

Phase II typically funds up to $1,000,000 for 24 months to continue the R&D effort from the completed Phase I project and work towards a prototype demonstration. Only SBIR Phase I awardees are eligible to participate in subsequent phases. Options may be exercised for S&T SBIR Phase II projects that have firm commitments for follow-on funding.

Phase III is funded from a private or non-SBIR government source for commercialization or continued development and testing from an effort made under prior SBIR funding. Phase III work is typically oriented toward commercialization of an SBIR effort which can   include products, production, services, research and development or any such combination. Phase III has no limit on the number, duration, type or dollar value of awards made to a small business. There is also no limit on the time that may elapse between a Phase I or Phase II award and a Phase III award, or between a Phase III award and any subsequent Phase III award.

Solicitation Details

The DHS SBIR Program issues an annual solicitation with topics that cover DHS mission areas for which proposals are sought. Topics for solicitations are solicited by S&T and CWMD and address the needs of DHS Operational Components including the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Secret Service—as well as first responders. As such, the solicitations typically consist of topics relevant to the following organization focus areas:

SBIR Program Portal

To learn more about the DHS SBIR Program and current solicitations please visit the SBIR website.

SBIR Success Stories

We are committed to identifying promising small businesses and innovative approaches to help address homeland security needs. Our success stories highlight companies that have made lasting impacts to our nation with successful technological innovations through the DHS SBIR Program. These examples showcase a number of small businesses from around the nation that have worked with S&T to develop and support the technology needs of our nation and homeland security end-users. Read our DHS SBIR success stories!


Deconstructing SBIR Video Series

Watch our videos explaining the SBIR process:

Press Releases and Feature Articles


For more information about the SBIR program, contact the Program Director at

For more information about CWMD’s SBIR program, contact the Program Manager at

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