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How SBIR/STTR spent $2.7 billion in FY 2016

June 06, 2019

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released its FY 2016 annual report for the $2.4 billion obligated by the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and $313.6 million by the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The report includes the number and dollar amount of SBIR and STTR awards for each state. New Phase I SBIR awards by agency are summarized in the following table.

Defense and Health and Human Services (HHS) have the largest extramural research and development budgets and, therefore, also make the majority of SBIR awards. Of agencies making at least 10 awards, HHS is the most competitive, with a 12 percent Phase I success rate, less than half the rate seen at NASA (26 percent). Defense and the National Science Foundation did the best job of working with women-owned businesses, with 19 percent of new Phase I SBIR awards going to these businesses (Transportation was also at 33 percent based on one award out of three).

HHS also had the third-longest timeframe from solicitation close to the first day of a company’s performance period, at 277 days. Energy and NASA were the quickest agencies, among those issuing at least 100 Phase I awards, at 128 and 130 days, respectively.

The report provides details on agencies’ uses of $53.4 million through the administrative funds pilot, which can be put to outreach, assistance and administrative improvements. Highlights from agency activities follow:

  • The Department of Energy established a Phase 0 program for underrepresented entrepreneurs, who ultimately achieved the same 20 percent success rate as businesses overall.
  • The Department of Agriculture launched a training and assistance program that increased submissions from 10 of the 19 states where these activities occurred.
  • The Army held 22 in-person events, as well as webinars, which helped achieve a 10 percent increase in participation by targeted groups.
  • Health and Human Services provided funding for companies to pitch at investor meetings around the country.
  • The Department of Defense created the Velociter program to mentor 200 companies from 36 states.
  • The Navy piloted a new contracting process that reduced its time to award Phase II by 114 percent.

The report also provides award data by agency, phase, business type, and state, as well as details on administrative performance and some program pilots. The agency also provides data on historical awards, which are available at sbir.gov.



sbir, federal agency, federal budget