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Small Business Basic Information


Program Description

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) small business program has two main component programs.

  • Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program- A set-aside program, currently 2.8% of the NINDS budget, for small business concerns to engage in federal R/R&D with the potential for commercialization.
  • Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program- A set-aside program, currently 0.4% of the NINDS budget, to facilitate cooperative R/R&D with the potential for commercialization between small business concerns and U.S. research institutions.

Both of these component programs are structured in three phases, the first two of which are supported using small business program funds.

  • Phase I: A feasibility study to establish the technical/scientific merit of the proposed innovative R/R&D efforts.
  • Phase II: A full research study that continues the research or R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Fast-track applications combine both Phases I and II into one application.
  • Phase III: The commercialization of the product, which should be pursued with non-STTR/SBIR funds.

The NINDS small business program makes use of the following mechanisms, which correspond to the components above:

  • R41: Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant, Phase I
  • R42: Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Grant, Phase II and Fast-Track
  • R43: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant, Phase I
  • R44: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant, Phase II and Fast-Track
  • U44: Cooperative Small Business Awards in Translational Research, Phase II and Fast-Track

The SBIR/STTR programs were recently reauthorized. Information about implementation can be found on the NIH SBIR/STTR Webpage and details about some key provisions can be found in NOT-OD-13-071. At this time, the following are not allowed:

  • Applicants cannot apply for Phase II SBIR funding based on a Phase I STTR award or conversely a Phase II STTR based on a Phase I SBIR award. Similarly, applicants cannot apply for a Phase IIB SBIR or STTR based on a Phase II STTR or SBIR award, respectively. NIH is currently updating its electronic systems and forms to allow applicants to switch programs at Phase II.  
  • Applicants cannot skip Phase I and apply directly for a Phase II SBIR award. Per the recent reauthorization, this provision will only be available to NIH SBIR applicants once implemented. NIH is currently updating its electronic systems and forms to allow applicants to apply for a Direct Phase II SBIR award. Additionally, this provision will be piloted by NIH by issuing targeted FOAs and will not be available on the Omnibus FOAs.   

Last updated January 16, 2014