Summer 2020 Newsletter



Volume 14, Number 2 | Summer 2020


Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program

In This Issue

  • Intro 
  • Key Program Milestones 
  • Coming Soon: Phase I Solicitation 
  • Innovation and Opportunity Conference 
  • Events
  • Happy Birthday, SBIR! 
  • Executive Presentation
  • CVC Insider Feature  
  • Phase II-E Option Eligibility: August 
  • Small Businesses to Mature Lunar Capabilities 
  • NASA SBIR/STTR RFI: Thank You 
  • I-Corps 
  • Opportunity: NASA JPL RFI
  • Success Stories 

Hello, Innovators

Carlos Torrez

On June 30th, we announced the selection of 312 small businesses across 44 states and Washington, D.C. to receive Phase I contracts with the NASA SBIR/STTR Program. This year we awarded a total of $51 million for 409 proposals, which is an increase of more than 10% in selected proposals compared to last year. You can learn more about this year’s Phase I selection by reading our press release, which also includes a visual infographic with award data.  

If you submitted a proposal to the 2020 solicitation and did not get selected for award, we encourage you to review the debriefing of proposal strengths and weaknesses that you will receive within 60 days of the selection announcement to get insights that may help you better prepare for the next submission.

As always, thank you for submitting proposals to help advance NASA’s missions. We are here to support our small business community during these uncertain times and are looking forward to all of the incredible things we will accomplish together. 

– Carlos Torrez, NASA SBIR/STTR Program Manager 

Key Program Milestones

• NASA SBIR/STTR 2020 Phase I Award Selections – Announced June 30, 2020 

2020 I-Corps Selection – Announcement scheduled for August 14, 2020 

• SBIR/STTR Phase II-E Selection – Scheduled to occur every 2 months 

Next cycle due date: August 12, 2020 

More info in the Phase II-E section below 

• NASA SBIR/STTR Phase I Solicitation – Scheduled to open on November 9, 2020 

Coming Soon: NASA SBIR/STTR Phase I Solicitation 

The next Phase I solicitation for SBIR and STTR is scheduled to open on November 9, 2020. This is an accelerated release of the annual solicitation for 2021 to give firms an opportunity to receive Phase I funding sooner than our typical January release.

Innovation & Opportunity Conference 

IOC 2020

Save the date: October 20-22, 2020 

Hosted by the NASA SBIR/STTR Program 

Transition (verb) 

To move your technology towards integration into a NASA or other government agency mission and/or the commercial market.

The Innovation & Opportunity Conference provides you with resources, engagement opportunities, and actionable next steps towards transitioning your technology – whether you are just starting your SBIR/STTR journey or ready for Phase III. 

Whether your destination is the Moon, Mars, or the Marketplace—let us help you get there.


SBIR Weeks 

The annual SBIR Road Tours hosted by SBA will be fully virtual this year. We will be participating in these SBIR Weeks—visit the SBIR Road Tour website to see the schedule and target regions. 

SmallSat Conference 2020 

Our program will give an on-demand overview presentation at the 2020 SmallSat Conference, taking place from August 1-6. This year’s event is virtual and free to all attendees. 


NASA SBIR/STTR Program Executive Jenn Gustetic will be a speaker at the virtual ASCEND conference, hosted by AIAA on November 16-18. Her presentation is titled “A Small Business’s Place in the Big Space Industry: How NASA SBIR/STTR Supports Entrepreneurs.” 

Invention-Con 2020 

Invention-Con 2020 is the annual conference for independent inventors, entrepreneurs, small business owners, and intellectual property (IP) professionals. This event takes place online from August 20-22. 

Visit our Events page to see more upcoming events that will be attended by our program. 

Happy Birthday, SBIR! 

Happy Birthday, SBIR

On July 22, 1982, the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (PL 97-219) was signed into law. Since then, 11 Federal departments have funded over 175,000 projects through 27,000 small businesses, leading to technologies that protect the warfighter, advance our exploration of the universe, protect the environment, restore our health, and so much more. We’re looking forward to accomplishing even more with small businesses through our program. 

NASA SBIR/STTR Program Executive Presents

at New Hampshire Senate Roundtable 

On June 19th, NASA SBIR/STTR Program Executive Jenn Gustetic presented about the important contributions that small businesses make towards NASA’s missions during a public roundtable discussion that included U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire) and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. Read more about the roundtable discussion on connecting New Hampshire businesses with NASA here:

  • On July 30th, Jenn Gustetic will join Jim Bridenstine and Congressman Matt Cartwright (Pennsylvania) for a virtual event on small business opportunities in Pennsylvania. 

NASA SBIR/STTR Featured by 500 Startup’s CVC Insider

On July 23rd, NASA SBIR/STTR Program Executive Jenn Gustetic was featured in the webcast “The Many Personas of CVC,” a bi-weekly speaker series featuring top corporate venturing practitioners sharing their unique story, strategy, and challenges. The NASA SBIR/STTR Program was highlighted for its dual role as an R&D program and a seed fund for entrepreneurs. Watch the full webcast here:

Phase II-E Option Eligibility: August 

The deadline to submit a Phase II-E proposal to be considered for the next cycle of awards is August 12, 2020. The eligibility window for SBIR/STTR Phase II-E proposal submission starts after the 12th month of performance and ends 60 days before the Phase II contract end date. 

Learn more about Phase II-E proposal instructions for preparation and submission at 

Small Businesses Selected by NASA to Mature Lunar Capabilities

Lunar Capabilities

NASA selected four U.S. small businesses to mature a range of technologies for sustainable exploration of the Moon under the Artemis program. By awarding the companies with follow-on funds — an expected combined value of approximately $17 million — NASA's small business program will accelerate the development of lunar technologies relevant to Artemis.  

Read more:



Thank you to those who submitted a response to our Request for Information (RFI) in May. The NASA SBIR/STTR RFI was open to firms that started or completed a proposal submission in the 2020 Phase I solicitation. Your responses are used to help us design our next solicitation, which is already in development. 


Opportunity: NASA JPL RFI

The NASA Innovation Corps (I-Corps) proposal period closed on July 14. Thank you to everyone who submitted a proposal to participate in this training program in partnership with NSF. We anticipate selecting approximately 10 STTR firms and 25 SBIR firms for participation in I-Corps. 

Learn more about I-Corps in preparation for the next Phase I solicitation:

On July 7th, we hosted a special I-Corps webinar with NSF. View the webinar slides on our Event Presentations page:

NASA recently published a Request for Information (RFI) opportunity: NASA-JPL Portable Tunable Laser Spectrometers for Human Habitation Vehicles (PTLS-HHV) Request for Information (RFI).

Review the posting on


Success Stories

Read about recent news and successes from some of our SBIR/STTR firms. If you are an SBIR/STTR firm with a success story to share, email us at

Tethers Unlimited

Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) announced it has been acquired by AMERGINT Technology Holdings. AMERGINT and TUI will increasingly offer integrated satellite communications offerings combining software-defined satellite radios with software-defined ground stations.

Made in Space

Made in Space, based in Jacksonville, Florida, announced it has been acquired by Redwire, a new venture that is rolling up a number of smaller space companies. The company will continue its existing projects, like Archinaut, while looking to leverage the capabilities of the other Redwire companies.


Astrobotic, based in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, was awarded $199.5 million to deliver NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) to the Moon’s South Pole in late 2023.

Thank You for Reading!

If you have questions about the NASA SBIR/STTR Program, learn more at

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