The 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 SBIR Program
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!
Watch our videos explaining the SBIR process:
- Detecting Trapped Survivors OATS RFI
- Insights Outreach | Getting Onboard with SBIR
- What's New in 2022!
- 2021 Other Agency Technology Solutions (OATS) RFI
- Planning for Privacy
- Innovate S&T: SBIR Proposal Submission Process
- Innovate S&T: Making the Most of Your One-on-Ones
- SBIR One-on-One Dos and Don'ts
- SBIR 20.1 Solicitation
- SBIR 21.1 Pre-Solicitation
- TechTalk: Small Business Innovation Research Program
Press Releases and Feature Articles
- DHS Announces New 23.1 Small Business Innovation Research Pre-Solicitation - November 18, 2022
- DHS Awards $9.8M for Small Businesses to Develop Security Technology Prototypes - June 30, 2022
- DHS SBIR to Host First Responder Technology Showcase - March 22, 2022
- DHS SBIR Seeks Solutions to Detect Survivors in a Building Collapse - February 7, 2022
- DHS S&T Announces Small Business Innovation Research Pre-Solicitation - November 22, 2021
- DHS Awards $1M to California Small Business for Soft Targets and Crowded Places Security Solutions - October 6, 2021
- DHS Awards $750K to Texas Small Business for Urban Detection and Identification of Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - September 13, 2021
- DHS Awards $981K to N. Carolina Small Business for Digital Paging Technology - August 17, 2021
- New Handheld Screening Wands Could Reduce the Need for Airport Pat-Downs - July 22, 2021
- DHS Awards $2M to Small Business to Develop Handheld Advanced Detection Imaging Technology - July 19, 2021
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: