Dept. of Commerce NIST Seeks SBIR Proposals

February 10th, 2016 by Sarah Ricard

Innovative entrepreneurs are encouraged to explore new funding opportunities within the Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Small Business Innovation Research federal funding opportunity. NIST anticipates making up to 12 Phase I awards at a maximum of $100,000 each.

The NIST SBIR Phase I submission deadline is April 14. Applicants have the option to submit Phase I research and development proposals though either electronic or paper applications. Electronic applications are due by 11:59 p.m. EST. Paper applications are due by 5 p.m. EST.

NIST’s mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve the quality of life. The research topic areas that will be supported by NIST’s SBIR program are those aligned with NIST’s investment priority areas identified in NIST’s Three-Year Programmatic Plan.

In developing topics and subtopics and when reviewing applications, NIST gives high priority to small businesses that participate in or conduct energy efficiency or renewable energy system R&D projects. Seven topics are in the current FFO:

  • Advanced Sensing for Manufacturing (9 subtopics)
  • Biomanufacturing (1 subtopic)
  • Cryptography and Privacy (1 subtopic)
  • Cyber Physical Systems (5 subtopics)
  • Lab to Market (1 subtopic)
  • Materials Genome (1 subtopic)
  • Quantum-based Sensors and Measurements (1 subtopic)

In the interest of competitive fairness, all oral or written communication with NIST during the Phase I open FFO period (with the exception of the public Q&A site) is prohibited. Questions may be submitted through the NIST SBIR website, where responses will be publicly posted under “Phase I Questions and Answers.”

Applicants may also contact the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership for technical assistance with application preparation. Details about MEP assistance can be found in Section 5.12 of this FFO.

Phase I project performance periods will be up to seven months. After a six-month R&D period, awardees are allotted one month to prepare and submit a final report. Arkansas-based entrepreneurs interested in preparing a responsive SBIR proposal are encouraged to contact Rebecca Norman for assistance at or 501.683.7700.

Review the NIST SBIR FFO