SBIR grants and contract are the largest pool of funding for small US businesses that does not require any type of repayment. More than 5,000 SBIR grants and contracts are given annually for a total of about $2.5 billion. The acronym stands for Small Business Innovation Research.
Federal law mandates SBIR funding, such that eleven federal agencies must allocate about 3% of their annual research and development budgets to small businesses. As a reminder, the US government defines “small” as having fewer than 500 employees (in general… there are always exceptions with government rules!).
The largest source of SBIR funding is the Department of Defense, followed by the National Institutes of Health. Department of Energy, National Science Foundation and NASA also fund many small businesses through this program.
For more information visit the SBIR web site.