Defense and Homeland Security Issue SBIR/STTR Topics

December 14th, 2016 by Rebecca Todd

Innovative small businesses developing new products or services are encouraged to explore the latest research topics of interest for both the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security.

The DoD has topics for both its Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. As a smaller agency, the DHS participates in SBIR but not in the STTR program. Both agencies make contract awards and are traditionally interested in funding research that addresses specific internal agency needs.

DoD SBIR/STTR applications are due Feb. 8 at 5 a.m. CST. The DHS has not yet announced an application deadline, although its pre-release period ends Dec. 14. In 2016, DHS SBIR applications were due by Jan. 20.

Department of Homeland Security Pre-solicitation

This is a joint SBIR pre-solicitation between the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate and the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO). In the most recent solicitations, S&T SBIR Phase I awards were a maximum of $100,000, and DNDO SBIR awards were a maximum of $150,000, both for six-month project performance periods.

The S&T Directorate has seven research topics of interest, and the DNDO identified two research topics that can be accessed here. More details about the DHS SBIR program, including archived solicitations and a Registration and Submissions training guide, can be found on the DHS SBIR program portal.

Department of Defense:

Standard DoD SBIR/STTR Phase I awards are up to $100,000 for a six-month project period, with a maximum $50,000 Phase I option for four months. Some agency components will award up to $150,000 maximum and don’t include a Phase I option.

The DoD will issue its Broad Agency Announcements on Jan. 10, 2017. During the Pre-Release period, prospective applicants have the opportunity communicate directly with agency points of contact to ask technical questions. Once the BAAs have been issued, for reasons of competitive fairness, applicants must post their questions on the publicly accessible SBIR/STTR Interactive Topic Information System (SITIS) online forum.

The DoD’s SBIR/STTR pre-release research topics, pre-sorted by agency component, can be accessed here. A filtered topic search can be conducted here.

DoD SBIR Pre-Release

Participating agency components in the DoD SBIR announcement include:
• Army (94 topics)
• Navy Phase I (99 topics)
• Navy Direct to Phase II (1 topic)
• Air Force (130 topics)
• Chemical and Biological Defense program (5 topics)
• Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Phase I (15 topics)
• DARPA Direct to Phase II (15 topics)
• Defense Health Agency (11 topics)
• Defense Logistics Agency (2 topics)
• US Special Operations Command (4 topics)

Within the DoD SBIR program, both the Navy and DARPA have Direct to Phase II options for select topics. To be a strong candidates for Direct to Phase II funding, applicants need to be prepared to demonstrate completion of scientific and technical merit and feasibility equivalent to a Phase I project (as described in the Phase I topic section).

DoD STTR Pre-Release

Participating agency components in the DoD STTR announcement include:
• Army (24 topics)
• Navy (30 topics)
• Air Force (29 topics)
• DHA (6 topics)

None of the DoD STTR agency components offer the Direct to Phase II funding option.

Arkansas-based entrepreneurs and companies interested in exploring these funding opportunities are encouraged to contact Rebecca Norman at or 501.683.7700.