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Small Business Innovation Research

The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) Office was established in December 2017 by consolidating primarily the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, a majority of the Office of Health Affairs, as well as other DHS elements.

For current information related to CWMD, please visit the following:

The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) participates in the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program with the Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate.  The National SBIR program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal research and development (R&D) that has the potential for commercialization.  SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.  The SBIR program aims to stimulate technological innovation, increase private sector commercialization, and encourage participation in entrepreneurship by under-represented groups.

Areas for Emphasis

DNDO’s SBIR program seeks to address technology gaps in the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture and to advance R&D needs for national technical nuclear forensics.  The following areas are emphasized:

  • Materials and Supporting Technology: Improved gamma and neutron sensing materials in the form of semiconductors, scintillators, and photo-detector alternatives that can be fielded in detection systems and are available at low-costs.
  • Passive Detection: New approaches to threat detection based on the radiological signature of a material, with emphasis on mobile, multi-modal, and agile detection systems.
  • Shielded Special Nuclear Material (SNM) Detection: Investigations to overcome challenges in detecting shielded special nuclear material, through advanced or enhanced non-intrusive inspection for cargo/vehicle scanning and human-portable scanning.
  • Advanced Analytics: Advanced signal processing and analyses to enhance detection, location, tracking, and identification of threat materials.
  • Technical Nuclear Forensics: Development of analytical techniques to improve current methodologies for faster, more precise measurements of physical, chemical, radiological, and morphological properties of sample material.

Program Successes

SBIR funding opportunities have led to the advancement of many technological innovations, including:


The DNDO SBIR solicitations are issued on an annual basis in a joint announcement with the S&T Directorate.  The DNDO SBIR Program issues 2-4 new topics a year.  Topics reflect DNDO’s need to augment the research portfolio by emphasizing near-term solution development and near-term commercialization potential into a final product or service.

The public may also suggest topics for each solicitation.  To do so please send a request to the general inquiries point of contact below for a topic submission template.  Note: the Program Office does not provide a response to a topic submission from the public.

Proposal Evaluation

Under each solicitation, proposals are subjected to a technical evaluation process where each proposal is evaluated by subject matter experts.  Typically, the SBIR program issues an annual solicitation beginning in the late winter time frame followed by the awards in the early summer.  Each award under the DNDO SBIR program will follow the phase and funding structure listed in Table 1.

SBIR Research Phases and Funding Structure



Funding Level

I:   Scientific and Technical Feasibility

6 months

$ 150,000

II:  Concept Development and Demonstration

24 months

$ 1,000,000

III: Product Development/ Commercialization Transition

No limit

No limit

(private or non-SBIR funding)

Learn more about SBIR Opportunities

Federal Business Opportunities are available at www.fbo.gov.

For more information about the DHS S&T SBIR program, visit https://sbir2.st.dhs.gov/portal/SBIR/

For general inquiries please contact dndosbir@hq.dhs.gov.

For supporting and ongoing activities under the SBIR program, please see the SBIR Fact Sheet.

Open Solicitations

Please click here for the current SBIR solicitation.

Last Updated: 02/04/2022
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