NASA SBIR/STTR Program Solicitation Details | 1. Program Description

1. Program Description

1.1 Introduction

This document includes two NASA program solicitations with separate research areas under which small business concerns (SBCs) are invited to submit proposals: the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. Program background information, eligibility requirements for participants, the three program phases, and information for submitting responsive proposals is contained herein. The 2005 Solicitation period for Phase 1 proposals begins July 7, 2005, and ends September 7, 2005.

The purposes of the SBIR/STTR programs, as established by law, are to stimulate technological innovation in the private sector; to strengthen the role of SBCs in meeting Federal research and development needs; to increase the commercial application of these research results; and to encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged persons and women-owned small businesses.

To be eligible for selection, a proposal must be based on an innovation having high technical or scientific merit that is responsive to a NASA need described herein and which offers potential commercial application. Proposals must be submitted via the Internet ( and include all relevant documentation. Unsolicited proposals will not be accepted. NASA plans to select for award those proposals offering the best value to the Government and the Nation.

Subject to the availability of funds, approximately 300 SBIR and 40 STTR Phase 1 proposals will be selected for negotiation of fixed-price contracts in November 2005. Historically, the ratio of Phase 1 proposals to awards is approximately 8:1 for SBIR and 5:1 for STTR, and approximately 40% of the selected Phase 1 contracts are selected for Phase 2 follow-on efforts.

1.2 Program Authority and Executive Order

SBIR: This Solicitation is issued pursuant to the authority contained in P.L. 106-554. Government wide SBIR policy is provided by the Small Business Administration (SBA) through its Policy Directive.The current law authorizes the program through September 30, 2008.

STTR: This Solicitation is issued pursuant to the authority contained in P.L. 107-50. Government wide STTR policy is provided by the SBA through its Policy Directive.The current law authorizes the program through September 30, 2009.

Executive Order: President Bush issued an Executive Order 13329 on February 24, 2004 directing Federal agencies that administer the SBIR and STTR programs to encourage innovation in manufacturing related research and development consistent with the objectives of each agency and to the extent permitted by law.

1.3 Program Management

The Exploration Systems Mission Directorate provides overall policy direction for the NASA SBIR/STTR programs. The Program Management Office is hosted at Goddard Space Flight Center. The Procurement Management Office is hosted at Glenn Research Center.

The SBIR Program Solicitation is aligned with NASA's Mission Directorates ( The research development interests of all Mission Directorates are reflected in the subtopics identified in Section 9.

The STTR Program Solicitation research areas correspond to the central underlying technological competencies of each participating NASA Center. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) does not participate in the management of the STTR Program.

Information regarding the Mission Directorates and the NASA Centers can be obtained at the following web sites:

NASA Mission Directorates
Aeronautics Research
Exploration Systems
Space Operations

NASA Installations
Ames Research Center (ARC)
Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC)
Glenn Research Center (GRC)
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
Langley Research Center (LaRC)
Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)
Stennis Space Center (SSC)

1.4 Three-Phase Program

Both the SBIR and STTR programs are divided into three funding and development stages.

1.4.1 Phase 1. The purpose of Phase 1 is to determine the scientific, technical, and commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation, and the quality of the SBC's performance with a relatively small NASA investment before consideration of further Federal support in Phase 2.Successful completion of Phase 1 objectives is a prerequisite to Phase 2 consideration.

Phase 1 must concentrate on establishing the scientific or technical merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation and on providing a basis for continued development in Phase 2. Proposals must conform to the format described in Section 3.2. Evaluation and selection criteria are described in Section 4.1. NASA is solely responsible for determining the relative merit of proposals, their selection for award, and judging the value of Phase 1 results.

Maximum value and period of performance for Phase 1 contracts:

Phase 1 Contracts
Maximum Contract Value
$ 70,000
$ 100,000
Maximum Period of Performance
6 months
12 months

1.4.2 Phase 2. The objective of Phase 2 is to continue the Research or Research and Development (R/R&D) effort from Phase 1.Only SBCs awarded Phase 1 contracts are eligible for Phase 2 funding agreements. Phase 2 projects are chosen as a result of competitive evaluations based on selection criteria provided in Section 4.2.

The maximum value for SBIR/STTR Phase 2 contracts is $600,000 with a maximum period of performance of 24 months.

1.4.3 Phase 3. NASA may award Phase 3 contracts for products or services with non-SBIR/STTR funds.The competition for SBIR Phase 1 and Phase 2 awards satisfies any competition requirement of the Armed Services Procurement Act, the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, and the Competition in Contracting Act. Therefore, an agency that wishes to fund an SBIR Phase 3 project is not required to conduct another competition in order to satisfy those statutory provisions. Phase 3 work may be for products, production, services, R/R&D, or any combination thereof. A Federal agency may enter into a Phase 3 SBIR agreement at any time with a Phase 1 or Phase 2 awardee.

There is no limit on the number, duration, type, or dollar value of Phase 3 awards made to a business concern. There is no limit on the time that may elapse between a Phase 1 or Phase 2 award and Phase 3 award. The small business size limits for Phase 1 and Phase 2 awards do not apply to Phase 3 awards.

1.5 Eligibility Requirements

1.5.1 Small Business Concern. Only firms qualifying as SBCs, as defined in Section 2.14, are eligible to participate in these programs.Socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned SBCs are particularly encouraged to propose.

STTR: To be eligible, SBCs must submit a cooperative research agreement with a Research Institution (RI).

1.5.2 Place of Performance. For both Phase 1 and Phase 2, the R/R&D must be performed in the United States (Section 2.18).However, based on a rare and unique circumstance, for example, if a supply or material or other item or project requirement is not available in the United States, NASA may allow that particular portion of the research or R&D work to be performed or obtained in a country outside of the United States. Proposals must clearly indicate if any work will be performed outside the United States. Approval by the Contracting Officer for such specific condition(s) must be in writing.

1.5.3 Principal Investigator. The primary employment of the Principal Investigator (PI) must be with the SBC under the SBIR Program, while under the STTR Program the PI may be employed by either the SBC or RI.Primary employment means that more than half of the PI's total employed time (including all concurrent employers, consulting, and self-employed time) is spent with the SBC. Primary employment with a small business concern precludes full-time employment at another organization. If the PI does not currently meet these primary employment requirements, the offeror must explain how these requirements will be met if the proposal is selected for contract negotiations that may lead to an award. U.S. Citizenship is not a requirement for selection.

Primary Employment
PI must be with the SBC
PI must be employed with the RI or SBC
The offeror must certify in the proposal that the primary employment of the PI will be with the SBC at the time of award and during the conduct of the project.
If the PI is not an employee of the SBC, the offeror must describe the management process to ensure SBC control of the project.
Co-Principal Investigators
Not Acceptable
Not Acceptable
Misrepresentation of Qualifications
Will result in rejection of the proposal or termination of the contract
Will result in rejection of the proposal or termination of the contract
Substitution of PIs
Must receive advanced written approval from NASA
Must receive advanced written approval from NASA

1.6 General Information

1.6.1 Solicitation Distribution. This 2005 SBIR/STTR Program Solicitation is available via the NASA SBIR/STTR homepage ( SBCs are encouraged to check the SBIR/STTR homepage for program updates.Any updates or corrections to the Solicitation will be posted there. If the SBC has difficulty accessing the Solicitation, contact the Help Desk (Section 1.6.2).

1.6.2 Means of Contacting NASA SBIR/STTR Program

(1) NASA SBIR/STTR Homepage:

(2) Each of the NASA field installations has its own homepage, including strategic planning and program information. Please consult these homepages as noted in Section 1.3 for more details on the technology requirements within the subtopic areas. Please contact the NASA SBIR/STTR Helpdesk at

The requestor must provide the name and telephone number of the person to contact, the organization name and address, and the specific questions or requests.

(4) NASA SBIR/STTR Program Manager. Specific information requests that could not be answered by the Help Desk should be mailed or e-mailed to:

Paul Mexcur, Program Manager
NASA SBIR/STTR Program Management Office
Code 408, Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771-0001

1.6.3 Questions About This Solicitation. To ensure fairness, questions relating to the intent and/or content of research topics in this Solicitation cannot be answered during the Phase 1 solicitation period.Only questions requesting clarification of proposal instructions and administrative matters will be answered.