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  6. 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.

S&T Seal SBIR 23.1 Solicitation

The DHS SBIR 23.1 Solicitation Is Now Closed

The DHS SBIR 23.1 Solicitation closed after an enthusiastic response from many small businesses. Proposals are being reviewed and the Phase I awards are planned to kick off in early summer 2023. The next SBIR Pre-Solicitation is anticipated to post in November 2023, but there are often opportunities throughout the year to engage with the DHS SBIR program. Keep visiting this website, sign up for the SBIR program Mailing List, or follow S&T on all major social media platforms for regular SBIR program updates.

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.

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: 01/19/2023
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