NIH Guide on SBIR and STTR
Small biotechnology firms represent a unique national resource for economic growth that may be the fastest and most efficient mechanism to create technological innovation to convert cutting edge biomedical research into new technology breakthroughs and competitive new products. The NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer(STTR) grant programs provide an opportunity for ALL key players in biomedical research to benefit. SBIR grants provide $850,000 (Phase I and II) or more and STTR grants provide $600,000 (Phase I and II) or more in research dollars to catalyze the commercialization of innovative projects that will benefit public health. Further, these grants offer company scientists an opportunity to pursue innovative projects for which company support may not be available, and they promote and foster partnerships with collaborators, including academic investigators. By serving as a collaborator, consultant, or principal investigator (for STTR), an academic investigator can gain long-term financial and scientific benefits. Collaboration with a company also offers access to company resources and expertise and possibly jobs for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. In a rapidly changing culture where research institutions are becoming more committed to innovation and entrepreneurship to enhance the economic development of their regions, NIH SBIR and STTR grants can add value to an academic institution’s intellectual property. With rapidly expanding biological knowledge, even large corporations can develop only a limited number of promising lead ideas. Large pharmaceutical corporations often look to small biotechnology companies for the initial development of embryonic technology. Thus, the end of a successful project for a small biotechnology company is often the beginning of R&D for a large pharmaceutical corporation. NIH small business grants can help bridge the needs of both by providing early-stage funding for research that adds value to an idea, promoting partnerships that lead to a marketable product.