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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.


The DHS SBIR 21.1 Solicitation is Now Open!

We have 11 topics for the new DHS Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) 21.1 Solicitation. During the solicitation period, DHS will accept proposals for topic areas until 1:00 p.m. ET January 15, 2021. Small businesses must submit proposals through the online proposal submission system at The solicitation is published at and details each topic area and description.

The DHS topics are:

  • DHS211-001 - Non-Invasive “Breathalyzer” Detection System to Screen for Presence of Viral Respiratory Infections
  • DHS211-002 - 5G & Wifi6 Coexistence for Secure Federal Networks
  • DHS211-003 - Improved Curved Transparent Ceramic Structural Components
  • DHS211-004 - Vehicle Infectious Diseases Protection
  • DHS211-005 - Amphibious XTV for Ice Rescue
  • DHS211-006 - Artificial Intelligence to Augment the 911 Telecommunicator Function
  • DHS211-007 - Software Supply Chain Identification for Compiled Binary Executables
  • DHS211-008 - Intelligent Document Design: Combating Industry Trends that Incentivize Weak Security
  • DHS211-009 - High Throughput Non-Ionizing Screening Capability for Identifying Contraband
  • DHS211-010 - Screening Sensor Technology as part of Passenger Checked Luggage
  • DHS211-011 - Fieldable multiplex detection of Biothreats

Deconstructing SBIR: 21.1 Pre-Solicitation Webinar

If you missed our Deconstructing SBIR: 21.1 Pre-solicitation webinar in the beginning of December, view it here! During this webinar, we relayed important information about the upcoming solicitation and proposal process.

S&T SBIR Program Specifics

SBIR is a three-phase program. The objective of Phase I is to determine the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of the proposed effort. Phase I awards are limited to $150,000 for the S&T SBIR projects and are up to six months in duration. Phase I awards are typically made within 45 days after selection.

The objective of Phase II is to continue the research and development effort from the completed Phase I project. Only SBIR Phase I awardees are eligible to participate in subsequent phases. Phase II awards are limited to $1,000,000 for S&T SBIR projects and 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.

Phase III refers to work that derives from, extends or completes an effort made under prior SBIR funding, but is funded by sources other than the SBIR program. Phase III work is typically oriented toward commercialization of SBIR research or technology. Phase III work may be for products, production, services, research and development or any such combination. There is no limit on the number, duration, type or dollar value of Phase III awards made to a small business. There is 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 S&T SBIR program issues a joint solicitation between S&T and CWMD and will include topics from both organizations for which proposals are sought. Topics for solicitations are developed by program managers in S&T and generally address the needs of seven DHS operational units—the Federal Emergency Management 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 organizations:

SBIR Program Portal

To learn more about the 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 new 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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