The Small Business Administration administers two unique programs for small business to acquire federal government contracts, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Eleven federal departments participate in the SBIR program, and five departments participate in the STTR program, together awarding $2 billion to small high-tech businesses.
One of these departments is NASA.
Now NASA is seeking proposals for its SBIR and STTR programs to create the new technologies that will send the agency to Mars and beyond. The deadline for the two program solicitations is Nov. 29, and selections will be announced in late February 2013.
According to NASA, previous rounds of small business programs have resulted in components for air-traffic control systems, the International Space Station and the Curiosity rover now busy exploring the Red Planet.
The highly competitive SBIR and STTR programs are based on a three-phase award system:
Phase 1, a feasibility study to evaluate the scientific and technical merits of a proposal
Phase 2, which expands on the results of Phase 1
Phase 3, commercialization
For more information about SBIR and STTR solicitations, including how to apply, go to missouribusiness.net/fast/about_sbir.asp or contact your MO SBTDC technology development specialist (http://www.missouribusiness.net/sbtdc/centers.asp).