Small Business

Supporting Private Sector Efforts to Improve the Nation's Health

ORIP seeks to increase small business participation in federally supported research and development as well as the private-sector commercialization of technology developed with federal support. The office achieves this through the federal government's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

The SBIR and STTR programs have three application periods each year. Application deadlines for these periods are September 5, January 5, April 5.

ORIP SBIR/STTR Application Process

Complete steps 1-5 to see if your proposed project meets ORIP SBIR/STTR eligibility requirements.

  • 1. Introduction

    The Office of Research Infrastructure Programs (ORIP) participates in two federal grant programs that provide funding to small businesses and provide opportunities to integrate public and private research and development (R&D) initiatives.

    SBIR

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) SBIR program is a set-aside program for domestic small businesses to engage in biomedical R&D that has the potential for commercialization.

    Under the SBIR program, the principal investigator’s (PI) primary employment must be with the small business. However, if multiple PIs are applying for a grant, the second PI need not be primarily employed by the small business.

    STTR

    The NIH STTR program is a set-aside program to facilitate cooperative R&D between small businesses and U.S. research institutions, with the potential for commercialization.

    Under the STTR program, the PI’s primary employment may be with either the small business or the research institution.

    Goals

    • To increase the participation of small businesses in federally supported research and development (R&D)
    • To increase private-sector commercialization of technology developed through federally supported R&D
  • 2. Confirm your small business is eligible for an SBIR/STTR grant.

    The Small Business Eligibility Wizard below will provide a preliminary assessment of eligibility for SBIR and STTR funding. Detailed eligibility information is maintained by NIH and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

    You can use this link to find a small business funding opportunity or follow the wizard below.

    Small Business Eligibility Wizard

    A. Does your business meet the following requirements?
    • 51% or more owned by a U.S. citizen
    • Less than 500 employees
    • The work related to this project will be done in the U.S.
    If you answered "no": You are not eligible for small business funding through ORIP. Please check for funding opportunities with other NIH institutes and centers. If you answered "yes" please precede to the next question.
    B. The SBIR funding (R43, R44) has additional eligibility restrictions. Do you meet the following thresholds?
    • The primary employment of the PI is with the small business.
    • The small business will do at least 67% of the research on this project.
    If you answered "yes": You may be eligible for R43 and R44 Small Business Innovative Awards. If you answered "no" please precede to the next question.
    C. The STTR funding (R41, R42) has additional eligibility restrictions. Do you meet the following thresholds?
    • The PI will spend at least 10% effort on this project
    • The small business will do at least 40% of the research on this project
    • At least 30% of the research will be contracted to a research institution

    NoYes

    If you answered "no": You are not eligible for small business funding through ORIP. Please check for funding opportunities with other NIH institutes and centers.
    If you answered "yes": You may be eligible for R41 and R42 Small Business Technology Transfer Awards.
  • 3. Confirm ORIP is the right place for your innovation concept.

    Does your project fall within the ORIP Mission?

    ORIP advances the NIH mission by supporting research infrastructure and research-related resources programs. ORIP’s programs support biomedical researchers with the infrastructure and research-related resources they require to advance the knowledge to continue improving human health and cure disease.

    Read the ORIP and Divisions Overview to determine if your concept fits in:

    ORIP

    NIH provides grant opportunities for small businesses in any biomedical or behavioral research area that falls within NIH’s mission to improve human health.

    Two components of ORIP, the Division of Comparative Medicine and the Division of Construction and Instruments, support small business programs.

    The Division of Comparative Medicine helps meet the needs of biomedical researchers for high-quality, disease-free animal models of human disease and specialized animal research facilities.

    The Division of Construction and Instruments encourages the development and implementation of technologies to directly benefit the welfare of research animals and to improve animal facilities.

    Division of Comparative Medicine (DCM)

    DCM’s small business programs support the development and commercialization of technologies to better understand, preserve, characterize, improve and treat animal models for a wide range of human diseases.

    Areas of interest include:

    • Methods for identification or production of new mammalian or non-mammalian animal models;
    • Improvement of animal models and development of technologies for stem cell-based regenerative medicine;
    • Development and commercialization of technologies to create, characterize or improve animal models of human disease, including models that relate to human personalized medicine;
    • Methods for identification, production and preservation of new mammalian or non-mammalian animal models;
    • Development of methods, equipment or reagents that facilitate the use of zebrafish for translational research;
    • Development of novel and emerging technologies for the accurate detection and diagnosis of polymicrobial Infections in biomedical laboratory animal models;
    • Development of innovative methods and tools to control and prevent selected laboratory animal diseases.

    Division of Construction and Instruments (DCI)

    DCI supports the development and implementation of technologies to directly benefit the welfare of research animals and to directly improve animal facilities that support biomedical and behavioral research. Areas supported include research on tools and equipment that improve and ease care and facilitate monitoring of healthy animals. Another area of interest is research to improve laboratory equipment to maintain environmental conditions and to maintain and improve the infrastructure of animal facilities. Of special importance is the employment of green technologies.

    After reading the Overviews, do you feel confident that your concept fits within the ORIP mission?
    If you answered "no": You are not eligible for small business funding through ORIP. Please check for funding opportunities with other NIH institutes and centers. If you answered "yes" please precede to the next question.
  • 4. Confirm that your proposed project meets the main factor for eligibility.

    Does your concept relate to the mission of more than one Institute and Center at NIH?

    The proposed research investigations must be applicable to the interests of two or more of the categorical NIH Institutes and Centers. In addition, projects that predominantly address the research interests of one NIH Institute or Center, but that are peripherally related to the research interests of other Institutes and Centers, will not be considered appropriate. An example of an inappropriate request is one exclusively involving an animal model of cancer or some other specific disease.

    (If you are NOT SURE, please re-read the overview description of each of the NIH ICs, above, to make certain that at least two of them may benefit from your concept, and then come back to this portion of the Infographic to continue.)

    If you answered "no":You are not eligible for small business funding through ORIP. Please check for funding opportunities with other NIH institutes and centers. If you answered "yes" please precede to the next question.
  • 5. Answer one more question to help you determine eligibility.

    Is your research project mainly related to clinical research, involving human subjects?
    If you answered "yes": You are not eligible for small business funding through ORIP. Please check for funding opportunities with other NIH institutes and centers. If you answered "no" please precede to the next question.
  • 6. Match your concept with a current ORIP opportunity.

    Find the funding opportunities announcements (FOAs) that best match your proposed project's objectives, timeline, and need for support. Follow the instructions in the FOA to apply.

    Still unsure what to do?

    Send an email to the ORIP staff member responsible for your area of interest

Last updated: 04-07-2017