SBIR/STTR Technical Assistance Program (TAP)

MTI offers funding and technical assistance to companies interested in developing strong proposals to the federal agencies that participate in the SBIR/STTR program. As the official Maine organization responsible for supporting SBIR activities, we are here to help all companies interested in applying for SBIR funds. Companies may receive guidance and advice from the Technical Assistance Program (TAP) team separate from, and in addition to, applying for MTI funds to develop their SBIR/STTR applications.

Technical Assistant Program (TAP)

MTI has developed an SBIR/STTR Technical Assistance Program (TAP) to encourage entrepreneurs and small business to participate in the federal SBIR/STTR Program. Companies may receive guidance and advice from the TAP team to develop a strong, competitive proposal to federal agencies that participate in research and development funding programs, such as the SBIR/STTR program.

The TAP team can inform you in detail about SBIR/STTR programs to help you determine  whether you are a good candidate. In addition, the Technical Assistance Program can assist you with guidance and strategy for writing your proposal, critical technical editing and reviews of your proposal. They can provide you with government accounting assistance in preparing an overhead rate and developing your SBIR/STTR.

MTI Funding Opportunities

In addition to free technical assistance, MTI funds activities to help applicants submit competitive proposals in support of Phase I or Phase II activities.

Get Started

Ready to start the conversation with MTI to explore how we can help? Start the process of working with MTI by completing our intake form.

About the Federal SBIR/STTR Program

In August 2018, Representatives from the different Agencies participated in a Road Tour event held in Portland, Maine. Click here to see the SBA SBIR/STTR program overview as an introduction to the goals and purpose of the SBIR/STTR federal early stage, research and development program set aside for small businesses.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs are the largest source of early-stage, high-risk technology financing in the United States. Eleven federal agencies participate in this program to provide over $2 billion for early stage research and development projects leading to commercialization of resulting products or services. The programs are designed to benefit entrepreneurs and small businesses — while increasing the competitiveness of the U.S. economy — by funding the development of innovative products and services. These are highly competitive programs that allow small businesses to play a role in the national research and development arena.

The SBIR program was established by Congress in 1982. Any U.S. owned and operated business with fewer than 500 employees is eligible to apply. A decade later, in 1992, the STTR program was enacted. Companies that are working cooperatively with universities and other research institutions are eligible for early-stage R&D funding through the STTR program. Both programs are two phase programs; Phases I and II may be applied for concurrently with a FastTrack application.

The SBIR/STTR program’s goals are to stimulate technological innovation; meet Federal research and development needs; foster and encourage participation in innovation and entrepreneurship by women and socially or economically disadvantaged person; and increase private-sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal research and development funding.

Each agency administers its own individual program within guidelines established by Congress. These agencies designate R&D topics in their solicitations and accept proposals from small businesses. Awards are made on a competitive basis after proposal evaluation

SBIR/STTR Three-Phase Program

Phase I

Phase I determines project feasibility. Agencies award grants up to $225,000 for a six to twelve month SBIR project or one-year STTR project that explores the technical merit of an idea or technology. Applicants must submit a 25-page proposal in response to a specific agency topic. The proposal must articulate objectives, significance of the innovation, scope of work, and applicant qualifications. The average success rate is 10-15% Recommended Timeline for Phase I Proposal Writing Process.

Phase II

Phase II focuses on prototype development. Agencies award grants up to $1,000,000 for a two-year project that builds on the results of Phase I. The project features research and development and an evaluation of commercialization potential. Proposals are 25-50 pages long and the success rate is 40-50%. Recommended Timeline for Phase II Proposal Writing Process

Phase III

Phase III is not funded by the SBIR/STTR program. The objective is for the small business to pursue commercialization based on results from the Phase I and Phase II R&D activities. Phase III may involve non-SBIR funding R&D or production contracts for the U.S. government.