Part II: What’s the difference between SBIR and STTR?


SBIRs are intended to fuel growth in the private sector and commercialization of innovations derived from federally funded R&D. This is done by funding small businesses seeking to commercialize innovative biomedical technologies.

STTRs are intended to stimulate a “partnership of ideas and technologies” between small businesses and non-profit research institutions through federally funded R&D. In other words, the small businesses collaborate with a research institution in phase 1 and 2. However, the STTR must also be product and market oriented.

SBIRs and STTRs differ in two major ways:

  1. The PI (Principal Investigator) – For SBIRs, the PI must be primarily employed by the SBC for the duration of the research and at the time of the award (unless waiver is granted). The PI must spend more than half of his time at the company or must not be a full-time employee of another organization. This is not required for STTR, where the PI may also come from the Research Institution partner.
  2. Location of the Work – At least two-thirds of the work must be in-house (at the SBC) for the SBIR; but the STTR requires that only > 40% of the work is done by STTR

Look for PART III next week!

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