Small Business Innovation Research (SIBR)


In my writings I have mentioned European Union funding for start-ups and growth companies in the high tech industry. I recently researched the US equivalent that. The Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 established the SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program to stimulate technological innovation and to use small businesses to meet federal R&D needs, and increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal funded R&D program.

From 1983 to 2004, the SBIR program has awarded over $17 billion to more than 82,000 projects. Every federal agency with an R&D budget of $100 million or more is required to establish and operate a SBIR program, funded by 2.5 percent of that agency’s budget for research conducted by others, called extramural research.

The SBIR program is composed of phases with limits on awarded grant money. The actual award amounts ranged from well below the guidelines to significantly above the guidelines. Awards above the guidelines accounted for 70 percent of the dollars NIH awarded to SBIR firms.

At NIH, phase I awards averaged $162,537 and ranged from $61,750 to $1.7 million; phase II awards averaged $934,643 and ranged from $150,593 to about $6.5 million.

At DoD, phase I awards averaged $89,504 and ranged from $36,595 to $449,000; phase II awards averaged $771,362 and ranged from $69,997 to about $4.4 million.

The average awards are significant and can assist a growth company significantly.

If we compare this to the European Union’s program that defines a three year 130,000 Euro deminimis limit of EU funding per company… well its clear we are under funding innovation again in comparison to the US. The European community has launched major initiatives like Airbus and the European search engine to compete against Google. I just recently read about an initiative to create the European Institute of Technology to compete against MIT. All great initiatives to improve European competitiveness… well some greater than others. Europe should be investing more into innovation. Whether its eco-technologies or something else. We should look at the standards in funding that are being set by competition and step up to the plate. 

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One Comment on “Small Business Innovation Research (SIBR)”

  1. shea says:

    It is interesting to me that small business funding overseas has equivalencies to american business funding agencies. I had never thought to consider that there was the same type of funding for europeans, as far as grants go, as there is for americans. interesting!!


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