Introduction to the Program:
The NSF STTR program focuses on transforming scientific discovery into products and services with commercial potential and/or societal benefit. Unlike fundamental or basic research activities that focus on scientific and engineering discoveries themselves, the NSF STTR program supports the creation of opportunities to move fundamental science and engineering out of the lab and into the market at scale; That is, the program promotes startups and small businesses representing "deep technology ventures."
The NSF STTR Program funds advanced research and development. The program is designed to provide non-dilutive financing and entrepreneurial support at the earliest stages of company and technology development.
Synopsis of Program:
The STTR program is intended to support scientific excellence and technological innovation that is moving from the lab to the market. By investing federal research and development funds into startups and small businesses, NSF hopes to build a strong national economy and stimulate the creation of novel products, services, and solutions in the private sector; strengthen the role of small business in meeting federal research and development needs; increase the commercial application of federally supported research results; and develop and increase the US workforce, especially by fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.
The STTR program at NSF solicits proposals based on groundbreaking scientific discoveries or significant engineering breakthroughs from the small businesses consistent with NSF's mission to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; and to secure the national defense.
The program is governed by Public Law 114-328 (SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2017). SBIR/STTR policy is provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the SBA Policy Directive. A main purpose of the legislation is to stimulate technological innovation and increase private sector commercialization. The NSF SBIR/STTR program is therefore in a unique position to meet both the goals of NSF and the purpose of the SBIR/STTR legislation by transforming scientific discovery and innovation into both social and economic benefit, and by emphasizing private-sector commercialization.
Since all Phase II STTR proposers are already associated with an NSF SBIR/STTR Phase I award, Phase II proposers are strongly encouraged to use their cognizant Phase I Program Officer as the primary point of contact for any questions. The contact above can be used for other inquiries, or when proposers are not sure who to contact. Please note that the following information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.
Contact Your NSF STTR Phase I Program Officer