National Institute of Standards and Technology -- Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

Funding Agency:
Department of Commerce

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) invites small businesses to submit Phase I research applications under this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). Science and technology-based firms with strong research capabilities in any of the areas listed in Section 9 of this NOFO are encouraged to participate. Applications must sufficiently identify and clearly address a specific NIST technical program area that falls within one of the research areas described in Section 9 (see Section 3.02.02(1)) or a NISTpatented technology available for licensing.

Only FY 2020 Phase I applications may be submitted in response to this NOFO. Phase II applications are not being accepted at this time. NIST publishes a Phase II NOFO approximately 30 days prior to the end of the previous year’s Phase I period of performance to request Phase II applications. That NOFO provides instructions for Phase I awardees to prepare a Phase II application and the closing date for submission of applications; only the previous year’s Phase I awardees are eligible to submit a Phase II application.

The purpose of Phase I is for NIST to determine the technical feasibility of the research, preliminary commercialization merit of the proposed effort, and the quality of the awardee’s performance. The application should concentrate on describing research that will significantly contribute to proving the feasibility of the proposed Phase II research and commercialization potential, prerequisites to receiving further support in Phase II. Each Phase I award is for up to $100,000 and up to a six (6) month period of performance. Up to an additional $6,500 may be requested for Technical and Business Assistance (TABA); see Section 5.11 for more information about TABA.

Deadline: Apr. 22, 2020

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Each applicant must qualify as a small business concern for R/R&D purposes, as defined in Section 1.05 of this NOFO, at the time of award. In addition, the primary employment of the principal investigator must be with the small business at the time of the award and during the conduct of the proposed research. Primary employment means that more than one-half of the principal investigator's time is spent working with the small business. Primary employment with a small business precludes full-time employment with another organization. Occasionally, deviations from this requirement may occur, which must be approved in writing by the NIST Grants Officer after consultation with the SBIR Program Manager. Further, a small business may only replace the principal investigator on an SBIR Phase I award if the NIST Grants Officer provides prior written approval. Personnel obtained through a Professional Employer Organization or other similar personnel leasing company may be considered employees of the awardee. 



Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences

External Deadline

April 22, 2020