NASA recently announced they’re looking to small businesses for innovative technologies to be transitioned into mission programs and other commercial markets. Interested parties are encouraged to submit proposals in accordance with SBIR and STTR guidelines. NASA is accepting these proposals until March 9th.
In Phase I of the awards cycle, the scientific, technical, and commercial merit of the innovations will be established. SBIR and STTR awards, which will run for 6 and 13 months, respectively, are projected to be approximately $125,000. Phase 1 awardees will then have an opportunity to apply for two-year Phase II awards valued at $750,000. In this phase, NASA will develop, demonstrate, and deliver proposed technology concepts.
NASA’s small business programs have been updated as a result of feedback offered by previous participants: “In 2017, we asked small businesses for feedback regarding our program,” says Jenn Gustetic, SBIR/STTR program executive for NASA. “In response to that feedback and through efforts to modernize our program, we made some programmatic and operational enhancements for the 2018 solicitation period which should help small businesses focus on submitting quality proposals.”
NASA has modernized their proposal submission system to make experience more seamless and user-friendly. They have also increased the performance evaluation period for STTR phase 1 contracts. This modern system should enable more businesses than ever to submit their technologies for evaluation.
For many small businesses, these NASA programs have been a springboard for growth: “Over the last 35 years of this program, many small businesses who have worked with NASA SBIR/STTR have commercialized exciting products, grown to become successful large businesses, or have been acquired for their expertise by a larger business,” said Gustetic.
This track record of success is a testament to why small business owners are seriously considering submitting proposals. “Small businesses are the source of so much innovation within the United States – these are the stories that inspire us,” said Gustetic. “We strongly encourage small businesses that have a technology idea that aligns with NASA interests as outlined in the solicitation to apply.”