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Useful Stats: SBIR/STTR awards by state, 2013-2017

May 24, 2018
By: Jonathan Dworin

The SBIR/STTR program, which dubs itself as “America’s Seed Fund,” is one of the broadest forms of early-stage capital available to small technology companies. During the five-year period from 2013 to 2017, the 11 federal agencies participating in the SBIR/STTR program distributed 25,524 awards. Using charts, maps, and a downloadable spreadsheet, this Digest article looks at trends in SBIR/STTR awards by state over the period, including the companies with the most awards and states where SBIR/STTR awards outnumber VC deals. A future article will look at awards by metropolitan area.

Federal agencies with extramural R&D budgets exceeding $100 million are required to allocate 3.2 percent of their R&D budgets to the SBIR/STTR program. The U.S. Small Business Administration, which oversees the SBIR/STTR program, releases data on individual awards across agencies. SSTI has collected this data and compiled it by state. The interactive graphic below displays the data by award type (SBIR/STTR), phase, agency, and year.  




SBIR awards comprise 87 percent (22,316 awards) of the 25,524 total SBIR/STTR awards distributed from 2013 to 2017. Companies must receive a Phase I award to be eligible for a Phase II award. Of the 25,524 total SBIR/STTR awards distributed from 2013 to 2017, 17,290 (68 percent) were Phase I awards.

Over the five-year period from 2013 to 2017, 7,130 different companies received SBIR/STTR awards. The median company received two awards and the average company received 3.5 awards. Twelve companies received more than 100 awards, led by Physical Optics Corp. based in  Torrance, California, (383 awards); Rockville, Maryland, based Intelligent Automation (227 awards); and Hanover, New Hampshire, based CREARE (224 awards).  




The map above shows SBIR/STTR data by state. Wisconsin was the median state and averaged 49.2 SBIR/STTR awards per year over the five-year period from 2013 to 2017. The states that averaged the most SBIR/STTR awards over that period were California (1074 awards per year), Massachusetts (562 awards per year), Virginia (291 awards per year), Maryland (246 awards per year), and Colorado (238 awards per year). Alaska (2 awards per year), North Dakota (3 awards per year), Mississippi (5 awards per year), Wyoming (5 awards per year), and West Virginia (5 awards per year) averaged the fewest SBIR/STTR awards over that same time.

There were 4,688 total awards distributed in 2017, a 9 percent decrease from the previous year. Despite this, 22 states were awarded more SBIR/STTR awards in 2017 than they averaged in the previous four years. Minnesota (15 awards above average), North Carolina (14.5 awards above average), and Hawaii (10 awards above average) saw the largest increases in 2017 compared to their previous average. California (117 awards below average), Virginia (55 awards below average), and Massachusetts (55 awards below average) saw the largest decreases in 2017 compared to the previous four-years.




Using data from the NVCA and Pitchbook, the chart above compares SBIR/STTR awards over the five-year period with venture capital deals. Ten states averaged more SBIR/STTR awards than venture capital deals over the 2013-2017 period. Virginia (682 more SBIR/STTR awards than VC deals), Maryland (510 more SBIR/STTR awards than VC deals), and Alabama (404 more SBIR/STTR awards than VC deals) had the largest differences between SBIR/STTR awards and venture capital deals. Of states with more SBIR awards than VC deals, Ohio, Virginia and Maryland rank among the top 15 states in both categories.



useful stats, sbirFile Useful Stats 052318.xlsx