The University of Arizona

SBIR/STTR Programs

About the Programs

The federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs are designed to spur economic development by enabling small businesses, including faculty start-ups, to turn innovative ideas into market-worthy products. SBIR/STTRs span multiple agencies and research objectives.

  • The SBIR Program supports technology innovation by providing federal research funds to help grow small technology-based businesses, and thus contribute to a strong economy.
  • The STTR Program cultivates public/private partnerships by encouraging joint venture development between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions.
  • The proposal planning and development should focus on clearly describing the commercial impact, the research plans, and the capabilities of the team for achieving success.
  • The proposal is submitted only by the small business concern and cannot be submitted by the University to the sponsoring agency.
  • It is essential to note that the awarded projects have tangible deliverables associated with them and it is necessary to meet all the requirements of the negotiated contract for the university personnel. 

Visit the Corporate Engagement Services Page for more information  

Eligibility

 SBIRSTTR
Type of Firm

Organized for-profit small company, with a place of business located in the United States

Organized for-profit small company, with a place of business located in the United States

Ownership and Control

More than 50% owned and controlled by:

  • One or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States
  • Another for-profit business that is >50% owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States
  • In some cases, more than one VC, hedge fund, or private equity firm, so long as no one such firm owns a majority of the stock

At least 51% owned and controlled by:

  • One or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States
Size

No more than 500 employees, including affiliates

No more than 500 employees, including affiliates

PIPrimarily employed by the small company

 N/A

 

Partnering Research Institution N/A

Nonprofit college or university, domestic nonprofit research organization, or federally funded R&D center, located in the United States

 R&D performance N/A

 

The small company must perform at least 40% of the R&D and the single partnering research institution must perform at least 30% of the R&D.

 

Search SBIR solicitations listed in Pivot
Search STTR solicitations listed in Pivot

Reduced F&A Rate for Phase I Awards

The University of Arizona’s F&A reduced rate for Phase I awards from all participating sponsors except the NSF* is 15% TDC (total direct costs). Phase I grants have a limited total award maximum, but are a required stepping stone to the more generous Phase II grants. By reducing the F&A rate, the Senior Vice President for Research and Research, Discovery & Innovation are investing in the success of Phase I projects through increasing funds available for direct costs. It is anticipated that this action will encourage more Phase I activity and more successful conversions of Phase I projects to Phase II. The Phase II F&A rate remains unchanged at the appropriate federally negotiated F&A rate for the activity. 

 *Phase I awards from the NSF are subject to the current negotiated F&A rate.

Download the Memo about the Reduction in F&A Rate for Phase I SBIRs and STTR’s

SBIR/STTR Assistance

Need assistance with your SBIR or STTR proposal?

Research Development Services (RDS), in coordination with Corporate Engagement Services (CES), and Tech Launch Arizona (TLA), assist faculty with SBIR/STTR proposals from concept to submitted proposal. Contact Dr. Kaushik Balakrishnan for more information.

Tech Launch Arizona, the office of the UA that commercializes inventions stemming from research, is committed to helping increase the activity and effectiveness of new and small businesses based on university research applying for SBIR/STTR funding. Their experts can help connect UA faculty and researchers with external service providers, as well as help align expertise and research with funding opportunities. Learn more about TLA’s SBIR/STTR program.