The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program stimulates technological innovation in the private sector by strengthening the role of small business concerns in meeting Federal research and development needs, increasing the commercial application of federally supported research results, and fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.
The STTR program solicits proposals from the small business sector consistent with NSF's mission. The program is governed by Public Law 112-81 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011). STTR policy is provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the SBA Policy Directive. A main purpose of the legislation is to stimulate technological innovation and increase private sector commercialization. The NSF STTR program is therefore in a unique position to meet both the goals of NSF and the purpose of the SBIR/STTR legislation by transforming scientific discovery into both social and economic benefit, and by emphasizing private sector commercialization.
The STTR Program requires researchers at universities, Federally-Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs), and other non-profit research institutions to play a significant intellectual role in the conduct of each STTR project. These researchers, by joining forces with a small company, can spin-off their commercially promising ideas while they remain primarily employed at the research institution.
This STTR Phase I solicitation aims at encouraging the commercialization of previously NSF-funded fundamental research (NSF funding lineage). It is highly desirable that the core innovation described in the submitted proposals can in some manner be linked to fundamental research funded by the NSF. This lineage must be documented in the Project Description section of the proposal here). Please note: It is NOT required that investigators of the original NSF-funded fundamental research be directly affiliated with the proposed STTR project or personnel.
NSF has formulated broad solicitation topics for SBIR/STTR that conform to the high-technology investment sector's interests. The topics are detailed on the SBIR/STTR topics homepage.
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