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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

About the SBIR Program

Basic Information

One of 11 federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs launched nearly 40 years ago, EPA’s SBIR is the small program with a big mission, to protect human health and the environment. Broad areas of focus typically stay the same and include clean and safe water, air quality, land revitalization, homeland security, sustainable materials management and safer chemicals.  More specific subtopics under each of these broad areas change from year to year.

For more information on the Federal SBIR programs, visit the Small Business Administration's SBIR website.

Two-Phase Approach to Funding

EPA runs a yearly, two-phase process for awards. Each year, EPA issues a solicitation for research proposals for specific topics. For Phase I, EPA awards firm-fixed-price contracts of up to $100,000 for 6 months for “proof of concept” of the proposed technology. Companies who have received the Phase I can submit a proposal for a Phase II award of $400,000 to further develop and commercialize the technology. Through this phased approach, EPA can evaluate:

  • whether the research idea is feasible,
  • if the firm’s research is high-quality, and
  • if sufficient technical and commercial progress has been made to justify a larger Phase II effort.

EPA also offers a "Commercialization Option" of up to $100,000 and one additional year for companies that secure third party investment in order to accelerate commercialization.

Is EPA SBIR Right for You?

While clean-up, containment systems, and other “end-of-pipe technologies” are still important, we want to foster game-changers that reduce or eliminate pollution in the first place. Consider joining us in the quest to find the next innovative technologies for protecting human health and the environment.

Learn How to Apply