Summer 2021 Newsletter

Volume 15, Number 3 | Summer 2021



Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program


In This Issue


Hello, Innovators • Key Program Milestones • Program Resources • Helpdesk Update • MSRDC Partnership • Phase II-E • NASA Mission Equity • Other Opportunities • NASA Software Catalog • Events • Success Stories


Hello, Innovators


The NASA SBIR/STTR program is currently preparing for the 2022 SBIR and STTR Phase I solicitations, which are scheduled to be released in January 2022. As a change from past years, in 2022 we will have two separate Phase I solicitations for SBIR and STTR, with the open and close periods being the same for each. The SBIR and STTR awards have always been distinct opportunities, the most notable difference being that an STTR requires the small business to partner with a research institution.

This change was made after evaluating your feedback and suggestions for improvement from our annual RFI (request for information). We hope to balance our program needs while making the proposal process more streamlined and efficient for you. We will also host a webinar during the solicitation period to help you dissect the solicitation; please keep an eye out for more details in the coming months.


Damian Taylor

Damian Taylor is the NASA SBIR/STTR Deputy Program Executive for Integration. Prior to this, Damian was the program’s Mission Directorate and Chief Technologist Liaison for Space Technology and STTR respectively. He is passionate about increasing diversity and inclusion in the program as well as integrating the needs of all of our internal and external stakeholders into the fabric of the program.


The 2021 Phase I SBIR and STTR contracts are underway, and many of our SBIR awardees will begin preparing for their Phase II submissions soon. On August 19, we will invite companies, including 2021 Phase I awardees, to attend a webinar on preparing for the Phase II submission and beyond.

As always, thank you for your dedication to innovation and improving life on Earth and beyond!

Damian Taylor

Deputy Program Executive for Integration


Key Program Milestones


*Dates are scheduled but subject to revision. 


Program Resources


Whether you’re preparing for your first Phase I submission or getting ready for a post-Phase II opportunity, we’ve created a curated resource library based on where you are in your SBIR/STTR journey. Peruse the library to see relevant information for Phase 0, Phase 1, and Phase 2 and beyond!

Newest resource: Kickoff Q&A for NASA SBIR/STTR 2021 Phase I Awardees

On June 23, we hosted a Q&A session for companies that received 2021 Phase I SBIR and STTR awards. While this webinar was specifically for Phase I awardees, firms that are in Phase 0 may benefit from viewing to get a preview of what a Phase I journey might look like.

Keep an eye out for an invitation to the next NASA SBIR/STTR webinar, scheduled for August 19. This webinar will focus on helping Phase I companies prepare for the Phase II submission, overview post-Phase II opportunities, and discuss how the program supports their journeys toward infusion and/or commercialization.


NASA SBIR/STTR Helpdesk Update


On June 23, the NASA SBIR/STTR Program Helpdesk began taking inquiries only via email at The phone number will no longer be monitored as we transition to 100% email intake. Helpdesk staff will connect with you via phone as needed to resolve your issue, but your inquiry must be submitted via email.


New Partnership to Increase MSI Participation


MSI Stem Logo


Earlier this year, the program signed a cooperative agreement with the MSI STEM Research and Development Consortium  (MSRDC) to increase participation of Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI), including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), in the STTR program. MSRDC will develop a virtual collaboration platform to facilitate research partnerships between MSIs and small businesses, identify areas of team collaboration success as well as areas of improvement, and assist teams in exercising good practices for submission of competitive STTR applications. Read more:

If you are interested in getting more details about the virtual platform and entering into partnerships for future STTR opportunities, please contact Latonia Jones, MSRDC at


Phase II-E


The Phase II-E Option further encourages the advancement of innovations developed under Phase II.  Under this option, the NASA SBIR/STTR Program will match the investment funds up to $375,000 with SBIR/STTR funds, on a 1-for-1 basis, to extend an existing Phase II project to perform additional R/R&D.

The deadline to submit a Phase II-E proposal to be considered for the next award selection meeting is September 13, 2021; II-E proposals chosen at this selection meeting will be negotiated for award in the start of Fiscal Year 2022. The eligibility window for SBIR/STTR Phase II-E proposal submission starts after the 12th month of Phase II performance and ends 60 days before the Phase II contract end date.


Potential Investor: NASA Flight Opportunities

NASA’s Flight Opportunities program is interested in participating as a Post-Phase II investor, specifically in support of suborbital flight testing to help advance development or commercialization of technologies. Upcoming opportunities to take advantage of matching funds from Flight Opportunities include Phase II-E proposals and the next round of CCRPP applications.


NASA Launches Mission Equity – Call for Public Input 


NASA Mission and Equity Hero Image


NASA is launching Mission Equity, a comprehensive effort to assess expansion and modification of agency activities and policies and examine what potential barriers and challenges exist for communities that are historically underrepresented and underserved. The agency is seeking public feedback as it conducts a thorough review of its programs, practices, and policies—respond to the request for information (RFI) at the following link:


Other Opportunities 



The 2021 version of Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES-21) was posted on February 12, 2021, and is open through May 13, 2022. This NASA Research Announcement (NRA) solicits basic and applied research in support of NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). Learn more: 

NASA TechLeap Prize

Do you have a technology for small spacecraft that can be used to autonomously detect, locate, track, and collect data on transient terrestrial events or maintain line of sight communication with an object on the lunar surface? We would love to know about it! You must register no later than Wednesday, July 28, 2021 to be considered for awards to build and suborbital flight test payloads. Learn more:

Request for Proposals (RFP) for Microgravity Flight Services

NASA has issued an RFP to solicit and award one or more contracts for Microgravity Flight Services, with an anticipated period of five years. Contracted companies will provide space on commercial parabolic flights, including payload integration services, to fly technology payloads and human operators in reduced gravity in order to test the innovations and advance their technology readiness levels. Responses are due July 23, 2021. Learn more:


Latest NASA Software Catalog Available for Business and Public Use


NASA Software Catalog Banner


Many of NASA's computational innovations were developed to help explore space, but the public can download them for applications that benefit us right here on Earth. The agency’s latest software catalog has hundreds of popular programs, as well as more than 180 new ones, all available for free download. Read more:




2021 National SBIR Week: July 19 – 23, 2021

The 2021 National SBIR Week is a free and virtual outreach effort connecting entrepreneurs to the country’s largest source of early-stage funding – the SBIR/STTR programs. Representatives from our program will participate in the “Inside the Head of an Evaluator” panel on Tuesday, July 20, and an Agency Roundtable on Friday, July 23. We will also be available for one-on-one meetings throughout the week. Register:

Deconstructing SBIR webinar: July 20, 2021  

Held in conjunction with National SBIR Week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) SBIR program invites SBIR and STTR participants to join a “Deconstructing SBIR” webinar on three recently released Other Agency Technology Solutions (OATS) Requests for Information (RFIs): 

Participants will hear from DHS about the needs in these RFI topic areas. OATS RFI submissions must leverage previous SBIR or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I, Phase II or Phase III awards from a Federal Agency. Register:

International Space Station Research and Development Conference: August 3 – 5, 2021

The 10th annual ISSRDC is hosted by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), manager of the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory; NASA; and the American Astronautical Society. The theme for this year’s conference is “Challenge. Partnership. Transformation.” Program Executive Jason L. Kessler will participate in a panel titled “SBIRs in Space: Multi-Agency Perspective on Opportunities and Trends.” Register:

Keep an eye on our events page for regular updates.


Success Stories


Read about 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



NASA Astronaut Christina Koch activates Techshot’s BioFabrication Facility on the International Space Station.

During the Administration’s National Small Business Week from May 3 through 7, NASA published a web feature about what working with NASA means to small businesses, featuring all SBIR/STTR companies.

Read More




NASA Technology recently launched a Tweet series highlighting SBIR technologies aboard the Perseverance Rover!

NASA Technology recently launched a Tweet series highlighting SBIR technologies aboard the Perseverance Rover! Keep an eye out for seven posts total. Check out the latest post.

Read More



pacewalkers Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet working at the Port-6 truss during EVA 74. Credit: NASA TV

On June 16, astronauts installed a new ISS Roll-Out Solar Array (iROSA) into its mounting bracket on the space station. NASA is augmenting existing power channels of the space station with new solar arrays to ensure a sufficient power supply is maintained for NASA’s exploration technology demonstrations for Artemis and beyond, as well as utilization and commercialization. The iROSA was initially developed by small business Deployable Space Systems—now a Redwire subsidiary—and has roots in the SBIR/STTR program.

Read more about the installation of iROSA:

Read More


Read more about the technology developed with the SBIR/STTR program:


Read More



A Space Fridge for Long-Duration Missions

From May 4 through 7, researchers from Air Squared, Purdue University, and Whirlpool Corporation completed a parabolic flight campaign to test the gravity independence of a system that could keep food fresh for years at a time. Air Squared received funding through Phase I and II awards from the NASA SBIR program. The tech was later bolstered by investments from NASA’s Johnson Space Center and Whirlpool Corporation, as well as NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, who supported Air Squared’s SBIR Phase II-Extended contract.

Read More



CEO John Thornton talked with  @Dr_ThomasZ  about how Space Tech grants and funding help small businesses advance their innovative technologies and ready them for future missions.

On June 9, Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, visited SBIR/STTR alum Astrobotic. The company’s CEO shares that SBIR and other Space Technology programs at NASA supported the development of their core technologies.

Watch Interview




Check out more of our success stories at