Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Overview

USSOCOM is an active participant in the Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs mandated by the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (for SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer Act of 1992 (for STTR).  Follow-on reauthorizations have continued the Program to date. 

The objectives of the SBIR/STTR program are to stimulate technology innovation, use small business to meet federal research and development needs, foster and encourage participation by minorities and disadvantaged groups, and increase private sector commercialization innovations derived from federal research and development. To be eligible for participation in the SBIR/STTR program, a business must meet the following criteria: be American-owned and independently operated, be for-profit, have the principal researcher employed by the business, and be limited to 500 employees.

The USSOCOM SBIR/STTR program supports the full spectrum of the Special Operations Forces Acquisition Technology & Logistics Science & Technology commodity areas by stimulating technology innovation in small businesses through contract awards aimed at discovering, developing, and rapidly inserting new capabilities to solve Special Operation Forces' needs.

Understanding the USSOCOM SBIR/STTR Broad Agency Announcement is important when competing for SBIR/STTR contracts. Annually, the USSOCOM community submits topics for technology products needed by Special Operations Forces. Topics differ from year to year. USSOCOM topics are submitted to DoD for inclusion in their Broad Agency Announcements.  USSOCOM commonly participates in all three Broad Agency Announcements that are published in the OSD SBIR Portal.  DoD publishes instructions for submitting SBIR/STTR proposals in the Broad Agency Announcements that are supplemented with USSOCOM specific instructions.

The proposals submitted in response to the SBIR/STTR Broad Agency Announcements result in a SBIR/STTR Phase I contract. The expected result is a thorough feasibility study and, in some cases, a breadboard at a Technical Readiness Level 3 or 4.  On average, three Phase I proposals submitted on a given topic are selected for Phase I contract awards.  Each firm that was awarded and completed a SBIR/STTR Phase I contract may submit a follow-on proposal for consideration for a SBIR/STTR Phase II contract that typically will develop a prototype at Technology Readiness Levels that range from 5 to 7. The SBIR/STTR Phase II proposals are evaluated against a given set of factors and are not judged against each other. The number of contracts awarded for a SBIR/STTR Phase II depends on available USSOCOM resources and current needs. Generally only one SBIR/STTR Phase II follow-on contract is awarded by USSOCOM. However, a firm's SBIR/STTR Phase I information is retained in a Small Business Administration awards data base which may be researched by the other 12 DoD SBIR/STTR components and the 11 Federal SBIR/STTR agencies and that can choose to award follow-on Phase II contracts.

For more information on the USSOCOM SBIR/STTR programs, the USSOCOM SBIR/STTR Program Manager may be reached via email