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SBIR for Applicants

Eligibility and Key Requirements

To be eligible for an SBIR award through the NOAA SBIR Program, small businesses must be:

  • American-owned and independently operated
  • For-profit
  • Company size limited to 500 employees, including affiliates.
  • Principal Investigator employed (at least 51%) by the applying small business
  • The proposing small business must carry out a minimum of two-thirds of the work for Phase I and half of the work for Phase II.
  • Work must be done in the U.S.

Competition Information

Phase I

  • Project feasibility/Proof of Concept
  • Up to 6 months duration
  • Up to $175,000 funding

Phase II

  • Concept research and development
  • Up to 24 months duration
  • Up to $650,000 total funding

Phase III

  • Prototype commercialization 
  • No set timeframe
  • Third-party funding, no SBIR funds

FY 24 Phase I Topic Areas

NOAA’s FY 24 SBIR competition is aligned with NOAA’s Weather Water Climate Strategy. Current topics include:

  • Extreme Events and Cascading Hazards
  • Coastal Resilience
  • The Changing Ocean
  • Water Availability, Quality, and Risk
  • Effects of Space Weather
  • Monitoring and Modeling for Climate Change Mitigation

Additional cross-cutting focus areas include:

  • Uncrewed Systems (UxS)
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Data and Cloud Computing
  • ‘Omics
  • Citizen Science

Please check back each year for updates to these topic areas.

Evaluation and Selection Criteria

SBIR proposals are reviewed by a panel of NOAA scientists and engineers, as well as experts from outside the agency.  Proposals are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. The scientific merit and technical approach of the proposed research (40 points)
  2. The level of innovation the proposed effort offers to the research topic area (20 points)
  3. Consideration of an application’s commercial and societal impacts and potential applications (20 points)
  4. Qualifications of the proposed principal/key investigators, supporting staff, and consultants and availability of instrumentation and physical facilities necessary to complete the proposed work (20 points)

Following the technical review, we will rank and award selections based on their review score and other considerations, such as:

  • Diversity of project types and distribution across the topic areas
  • Diversity of participants with respect to geography, type of institution, type of partners, and researchers
  • Past performance under SBIR
  • Partnerships and/or participation of targeted groups
  • Possible duplication with other federally-funded research
  • Availability of funding

Phase I and II Success Rates

SBIR Success Rate Chart