Each year, federal agencies within the US government budget part of the funds for full-time and part-time research and development (R&D). Internal funds support federal laboratories to agencies to achieve their specific, scientific and technical goals. However, this is only half of the equation. In addition, these agencies support the private sector in research and development that can and does improve American society. Larger corporations typically set aside a capital fund to achieve their research goals, but smaller companies face the challenge of securing multiple levels of funding to accelerate technology from research facility to market.

The United States wanted small businesses to be heard while strengthening their role in federal-funded research. So, in 1982, the Small Business Innovation Development Act established the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). The program has four main objectives: to increase the commercialization of private sector innovation stemming from federal research, to provide a way out for small businesses to meet federal R&D needs, to stimulate small business innovation in technology, and to encourage and encourage the participation of minorities and disadvantaged people in technological innovation.

With the establishment of SBIR in the federal government, the program quickly found its way to NIST and was an integral part of the overall mission for many years. “SBIR in NIST is a highly competitive program that seeks innovative proposals from small businesses that address key areas of research at NIST and that offer the potential for commercialization. This program is in line with NIST’s goals of financing the necessary technologies, while encouraging the spirit of entrepreneurship, focusing on small business, “said Jacqueline Gray, NIST SBIR Program Manager.

NIST identifies technical focus areas each year and SBIR issues a funding opportunity notice to the small business involved in this study. SBIR continues to play an important role in NIST as the program works to accelerate the commercialization of technology and foster innovation across America.

Go here to learn more about SBIR at NIST.

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