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  1. Science and Technology
  2. Work with S&T
  3. Innovation Funding Programs
  4. Small Business Innovation Research Program

Small Business Innovation Research Program

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program,SBIR U.S. buzzword map 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. 

Phase 0

DHS SBIR is proud to announce the launch of Phase 0, a program that can help potential applicants understand the submission process, provide access to assistance resources for new applicants and collaborate with individuals committed to diversifying the science and engineering workforce.

Now through January 2024, the Phase 0 program will offer the following series of webinars focused on providing more information about the 24.1 solicitation cycle:  

  • How a Small Business Should Approach Understand the Pre-Solicitation
  • Mandatory Federal Registrations 
  • Confirming Eligibility and Using Your Time Wisely
  • How to Prepare a Responsive Technical Proposal
  • Principal Investigators and Other Personnel 
  • Preparing Your Budget
  • Protecting Your Intellectual Property
  • Important Forms to Submit with Your DHS Proposal
  • DHS SBIR Proposal Submission Process

These webinars are recommended for all innovative R&D small companies interested in learning more about the SBIR program and process. Register here for the Phase 0 webinars.

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 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 $175,000 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 $1,500,000 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.

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!

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:

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

For more information about the SBIR program, contact the Program Director at STSBIR.Program@hq.dhs.gov.

For more information about CWMD’s SBIR program, contact the Program Manager at CWMD.SBIR@hq.dhs.gov.

Last Updated: 07/12/2024
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