SBIR / STTR Awards

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs provide non-dilutive funding to small companies for early-stage research and development (R&D) to develop products that have potential for commercialization. Federal agencies such as the NIH, NSF, DOE, DOD, NASA, and others with extramural research and development budgets set aside funds for contracts and grant awards to small businesses with the goal of stimulating technological innovation and developing products with commercial value. Each year, eleven government agencies distribute over $3.5 billion to small businesses through SBIR and STTR programs.

SBIR/STTR grants may exceed $1 million, and are typically provided over two distinct phases (note: varies by funding agency):

  • Phase I awards: typically provide about $150,000 for feasibility studies and proof-of-concept experimentation.
  • Phase II awards: if Phase I proves successful, the company may apply for a Phase II award providing upwards of $1.5 million over multiple years. Phase II expands upon the initial Phase I results and further develops the concept, usually to the prototype stage. Only Phase I awardees are eligible to participate.

For information about SBIRs and STTRs, visit the following:

CTV support for SBIR / STTR applications


Columbia Technology Ventures (CTV) will be periodically offering intensive SBIR/STTR workshops led by SBIR/STTR program experts. These workshops will be designed to cover program essentials and how to compete for funding. Training is open to Columbia students and faculty and will include:

  • SBIR/STTR program details
  • Understanding the agency
  • How to do homework prior to writing the proposal
  • SBIR/STTR review process
  • Step-by-step process in how to write each section of a proposal
  • Common problems and pitfalls in SBIR/STTRR proposals, and how to avoid them
  • Overview of preparing commercialization plan
  • Overview of electronic submission procedures and timing

Please contact your CTV technology licensing officer or [email protected] for more information.

Supporting grant applications for teams with a license or option to Columbia intellectual property

Columbia teams based on a license or option to Columbia intellectual property (executed or in negotiation) will have access to the following resources:

  • Follow-on counseling by one of the approved SBIR consultants to support the application writing process
  • Research support by CTV Fellows to facilitate writing the commercialization section of the proposal
  • Review by CTV TLOs of the commercialization section of the SBIR/STTR applications

In addition, CTV can provide letters of support for grants or for SBIR applications. Please allow for at least one week prior to the grant deadline to make the request.

For more information please contact your CTV technology licensing officer or [email protected].