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Small Business Research Programs


The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program supports research and development by small businesses of innovative technologies that have the potential to succeed commercially or provide significant societal benefits. The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program has the same objectives but requires academic research involvement.


The SBIR program was established under the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982. Federal agencies with extramural research and development budgets over $100 million are required to administer SBIR programs using an annual set-aside of 2.5% for small companies to conduct innovative research or research and development (R/R&D) that has potential for commercialization and public benefit.


The STTR program was established by the Small Business Technology Transfer Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-564, Title II). Federal agencies with extramural R&D budgets over $1 billion are required to administer STTR programs using an annual set-aside of 0.3%.

NIMH SBIR/STTR Program Objectives

The overarching goal of the SBIR program at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is to support small businesses to develop technologies that can advance the mission of the Institute, including basic neuroscience research, translational and clinical research, clinical diagnosis and treatment, and dissemination and implementation of evidence-based research on mental disorders. The NIMH Strategic Plan  presents key scientific priorities across these domains, and describes the need for tools to realize these priorities. The National Advisory Mental Health Council’s Workgroup report From Discovery to Cure further elucidates principles and recommendations for the development of new and better interventions for individuals with mental illnesses. In addition, NIMH research priorities address issues concerning HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care, as detailed in the Trans-NIH Plan for HIV-Related Research. The SBIR/STTR program is a source of support for the research and development of technologies that correspond to these identified research priorities.

The SBIR and STTR Programs are coordinated across the extramural funding divisions by:

Margaret C. Grabb, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 7201, MSC 9645
Bethesda, MD  20892-9645
(Rockville, MD  20852 for express or courier service)
Telephone: (301) 443-3563  Fax: (301) 451-5615

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