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Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs


Applicant Resources


Business Development Resources

  • U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) 
    Federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises (MBEs). MBDA invests in a national network of MBDA Business Centers, Specialty Centers, and Grantees. Programs offer customized business development and industry-focused services to provide greater access to capital, contracts and markets.
  • Entrepreneurial Finance for Biomedical Innovators 
    This online self-paced video course is designed to present biomedical entrepreneurs with a detailed framework for building a step-wise, validated financial plan.
  • USPTO Inventor and Entrepreneur Resources 
  • National Institute of Standards and Technology Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP) 
    MEP is a public-private partnership dedicated to serving small and medium-sized U.S. manufacturers. With 51 MEP Centers located in in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, and its over 1,300 manufacturing experts at over 400 service locations, MEP centers tailor service to meet critical needs, ranging from process improvement and workforce development to specialized business practices, including supply chain integration, innovation, and technology transfer. Contact your Local MEP Center  to learn how your small business can benefit from this program.
  • NSF I-Corps Site Directory 
    The I-Corps program is an initiative developed by the National Science Foundation (NSF)  that teaches researchers and innovators how to evaluate a technology or idea for the marketplace. NSF I-Corps Sites are administered through Universities nationwide and designed to educate researchers and technologists on entrepreneurial principles and practices and to give them hands-on experience in exploring potential real-world applications of their technologies.
  • NIH STRIDES Initiative 
    Through the STRIDES Initiative, NIH and NIH-funded institutions have access to discounts and credits on cloud services and tools. Additionally, shared services—such as consultation, cloud training, initial program/project setup, and reporting—are offered and managed by the NIH STRIDES Initiative team.
  • SCORE 
    The nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors offering free, confidential business mentoring. SCORE is a nonprofit organization and a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 
    Provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise to small businesses and entrepreneurs.
  • Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) 
    Nationwide network of 1,000 local centers offering free face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training, on topics including business planning, accessing capital, marketing, regulatory compliance, technology development, international trade and much more. Services are available for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
  • Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) 
    Offered through the SBA, WBCs are part of a national network of entrepreneurship centers throughout the United States and its territories, designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses. WBCs seek to "level the playing field" for women entrepreneurs, who still face unique obstacles in the business world.


NIH Commercialization Assistance Programs

For questions regarding commercialization assistance programs please contact Paige Anderson.

Pre-Award Programs for Entrepreneurs

BIO-Entrepreneurship Capstone Program 

BIO-E is open to students, postgraduate fellows, and early career faculty in the life sciences. Certified instructors and product development experts with real-world experience cover:

  • Lean Startup fundamentals
  • Customer discovery
  • Intellectual property

Candidates who are new to the NIH funding ecosystem are encouraged to register, as no prior funding or active NIH project experience is required.

Full program description and eligibility requirements are available at the website .

NIH Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 

This 8-week program is designed for researchers and small businesses developing a novel technology. Instructors with life-science innovation and entrepreneurial experience will teach participating teams to use:

  • A life science focused customer discovery process
  • Develop stronger business models and market strategies
  • Validate commercialization plans before applying for an SBIR/STTR

No prior product development or commercialization experience is required and innovators who are new to the NIH ecosystem are highly encouraged to apply.

Full program description and eligibility requirements are available at the website .

Programs for NIH-funded Research Projects

e-C3i Program 

The eC3i Program is a 10-week online entrepreneurial education course with 1:1 mentoring from seasoned biotech entrepreneurs aimed at teaching academic innovators methods to assess the commercial value of their biomedical technologies. The program is designed to answer the question, “Does my technology have commercial potential?" The eC3i Program is part of the larger Concept to Clinic: Commercializing Innovation (C3i ) Program.

Full program description and eligibility requirements are available at the website .

Programs for eligible SBIR/STTR Phase I Awardees

I-Corps™ at NIH 

During this 8.5-week course, companies receive specialized instruction and mentoring from seasoned entrepreneurs from biotech industries sourced from the National Science Foundation's National Innovation Network.

Participants get "out of the lab" and gather information by conducting interviews (100+) with potential customers, strategic partners, and other third-party stakeholders to refine their:

  • Target Customer
  • Key Product
  • Market Needs

The program helps companies create new networks, establish partnerships and build commercialization plans that accurately address the needs of their target market.

Full program description and eligibility requirements are available at the website .

Technical and Business Assistance (TABA) Needs Assessment 

The TABA Needs Assessment Program provides the opportunity for Phase I SBIR/STTR awardees to receive an assessment, delivered as a report, of technical and business areas including:

  • Market Needs/Competitive Advantages
  • Intellectual Property/ Barriers to Entry
  • Business Model Profitability
  • Manufacturing, Regulatory, and/or Clinical Plan

The report analyzes the current state of the Phase I project toward commercialization and identifies strengths and weaknesses that can help the company strategize for the project’s next steps.

Full program description and eligibility requirements can be found at the website .

Programs for eligible SBIR/STTR Phase II Awardees

Technical and Business Assistance (TABA) Consulting Services  Program

Provides up to $50,000 of consulting services to Phase II or Phase IIB awardees in one of the following areas:

  • Intellectual Property
  • Market Analysis
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Reimbursement Planning

Full program description and eligibility requirements are available at the website .

Programs for eligible SBIR/STTR Phase I & II Awardees

Concept to Clinic: Commercializing Innovation (C3i) Program 

This 24-week entrepreneurial training course is divided into two 12-week phases. Based on the Coulter Commercialization Process, it provides customized mentoring through weekly teleconferences, lectures, and coursework. It is designed to provide companies with the specialized business frameworks and essential tools for successful translation of biomedical technologies from the lab (concept) to the market (clinic).

Participants will develop a comprehensive set of core skills that will enable them to:

  • evaluate and validate a compelling unmet market need
  • assess and determine a viable business opportunity
  • build a compelling pitch presentation to secure support from potential investors and/or business partners.

Full program description and eligibility requirements are available at the website .


Database/Repository Resources

  • NIMH Data Archive (NDA) 
    Provides infrastructure for sharing research data, tools, methods, and analyses enabling collaborative science and discovery. De-identified human subjects data, harmonized to a common standard, are available to qualified researchers.  Summary data are available to all.
  • NIMH Repository and Genomics Resource (NRGR) 
    Biorepository specializes in offering the research community DNA, RNA, and cell lines from large collections of individuals with psychiatric illness and psychiatrically normal controls.
  • The BrainSpan Atlas 
    Hailed as providing a “GPS for the brain,” a partnership among the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Yale University, the University of Southern California, and NIMH—has created a comprehensive 3-D brain blueprint.
  • NIH NeuroBioBank (NBB) 
    National resource for investigators utilizing human post-mortem brain tissue and related biospecimens for their research to understand conditions of the nervous system.

Drug Development Resources

  • Assay Guidance Manual (AGM) 
    Provides a free, best-practices online resource for researchers worldwide with step-by-step guidance to facilitate the discovery of pharmacological tools and drugs. The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), manages the AGM in in collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company.
  • NIMH Chemical Synthesis and Drug Supply Program 
    Synthesizes and distributes novel research chemicals, psychoactive drugs, and compounds unavailable from commercial sources. Also supports radiosynthesis, medicinal chemistry, and GMP synthesis for clinical studies.
  • NIMH Psychoactive Drug Screening Program (PDSP) 
    Screens novel psychoactive compounds for pharmacological and functional activity at cloned human or rodent CNS receptors, channels, and transporters.
  • Bridging Interventional Development Gaps (BrIDGs) 
    Provides chemical synthesis, formulation, pharmacokinetic and toxicology expertise and resources to its collaborators. The program enables research collaborations to advance candidate therapeutics for both common and rare diseases into clinical testing.
  • Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network (BPN) 
    Provides non-dilutive support for small molecule drug discovery and development, from hit-to-lead chemistry through phase I clinical testing. Includes funding for internal development, access to NIH-funded contract research organizations (CROs) and consultants  with expertise in various aspects of drug discovery and development.

Other Resources