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

1. Program Description

1.1 Introduction

This document provides a general description of the NASA SBIR/STTR Phase II proposal submission requirements and the Phase II program. All small business concerns (SBCs) that are awarded and have successfully completed their Phase I contracts are invited to submit Phase II proposals. Receipt of Phase II proposals are due on the last day of performance under SBIR/STTR Phase I contracts, the submission period will be available approximately 6 weeks prior to the completion date. Note: The information in this document is subject to revision and if necessary, updated Phase II proposal instructions will be provided to the SBCs 6 weeks prior to the due date of the Phase II proposal.

The NASA SBIR/STTR programs do not accept proposals solely directed towards system studies, market research, routine engineering development of existing products or proven concepts and modifications of existing products without substantive innovation.

Approximately 45% of the selected Phase I contracts are selected for Phase II follow-on efforts. All awards are subject to the availability of funds.

Proposals must be submitted online via the Proposal Submissions Electronic Handbook at and include all relevant documentation. Unsolicited proposals will not be accepted.

1.2 Program Authority and Executive Order

SBIR and STTR opportunities are solicited annually pursuant to the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (Public Law 97-219), Small Business Innovation Research Program Reauthorization Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-554), the Small Business Research and Development Act of 1992 (Public Law 102-564), the Small Business Technology Transfer Program Reauthorization Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-50), and as most recently amended by Congress has extended the SBIR and STTR programs through September 30, 2011 (P.L. 112-17). A new authorization or extension is anticipated prior to this end date.

Executive Order: This Solicitation complies with Executive Order 13329 (issued February 26, 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.

On February 26, 2004, the President issued Executive Order 13329 (69 FR 9181) entitled "Encouraging Innovation in Manufacturing." In response to this Executive Order, NASA encourages the submission of applications that deal with some aspect of innovative manufacturing technology. If a proposal has a connection to manufacturing this should be indicated in the Part 5 (Related R/R&D) of the proposal and a brief explanation of how it is related to manufacturing should be provided.

Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, section 1203, stated that federal agencies shall give high priority to small business concerns that participate in or conduct energy efficiency or renewable energy system research and development projects. If a proposal has a connection to energy efficiency or alternative and renewable energy this should be indicated in Part 5 (Related R/R&D) of the proposal and a brief explanation of how it is related to energy efficiency and alternative and renewable energy should be provided.

1.3 Program Management

The Office of the Chief Technologist under the Office of the NASA Associate Administrator provides overall policy direction for implementation of the NASA SBIR/STTR programs. The NASA SBIR/STTR Program Management Office, which operates the programs in conjunction with NASA Mission Directorates and Centers, is hosted at the NASA Ames Research Center. NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) provides the overall procurement management for the programs. All of the NASA Centers actively participate in the SBIR/STTR programs; and to reinforce NASA's objective of infusion of SBIR/STTR developed technologies into its programs and projects, each Center has personnel focused on that activity.

NASA research and technology areas to be solicited are identified annually by Mission Directorates. The Directorates identify high priority research and technology needs for their respective programs and projects. The needs are explicitly described in the topics and subtopics descriptions developed by technical experts at NASA's Centers. The range of technologies is broad, and the list of topics and subtopics may vary in content from year to year. See section 9.1 for details on the Mission Directorate research topic descriptions.

The STTR Program Solicitation is aligned with needs and associated core competencies of the NASA Centers as described in Section 9.2.

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 Centers
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.

Phase I: The purpose of Phase I is to determine the scientific, technical, commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation, and the quality of the SBC's performance. Phase I work and results should provide a sound basis for the continued development, demonstration and delivery of the proposed innovation in Phase II and follow-on efforts.Successful completion of Phase I objectives is a prerequisite to consideration for a Phase II award.

Phase II: The purpose of Phase II is the development, demonstration and delivery of the innovation. Only SBCs awarded Phase I contracts are eligible for Phase II funding agreements.Phase II projects are chosen as a result of competitive evaluations and based on selection criteria provided in the Phase II instructions.

Maximum value and period of performance for Phase I and Phase II contracts:

Phase I Contracts
Maximum Contract Value
$ 125,000
$ 125,000
Period of Performance
6 months
12 months
Phase II Contracts
Maximum Contract Value
$ 750,000
$ 750,000
Period of Performance
24 months
24 months

* Nominal period of performance for a Phase II is 24 months. If your period of performance is less than 18 months, you may not be eligible for a Phase II Enhancement as described below.

Phase II Enhancement (PII-E): The objective of the Phase II-E Option is to further encourage the transition of Phase II contracts into Phase III awards by providing a cost share extension of R/R&D efforts to the current Phase II contract with new Phase III contracts. Eligible firms must secure a 3rd party investor to partner and invest in enhancing their technology for further research, infusion, and/or commercialization.Under this option, NASA will match with SBIR/STTR funds up to $250,000 of non-SBIR/non-STTR investment from a NASA project, NASA contractor, or 3rd party commercial investor to extend an existing Phase II project for up to a minimum of 4 months to perform additional R/R&D. The total cumulative award for the Phase II contract plus the Phase II-E match is not expected to exceed $1,000,000.00 of SBIR/STTR funding. The non-SBIR or non-STTR contribution is not limited since it is regulated under the guidelines for Phase III awards.

Additional details, including specific submission dates and how to apply for the Phase II-E, will be provided no later than the 15th month of the performance of the Phase II contract. Select applicants will also be notified on when they can submit their application packages and will have a period of 2 weeks to get them submitted. Application packages will not be accepted before or after the notified 2-week submission period.

Phase III: NASA may award Phase III contracts for products or services with non-SBIR/STTR funds. The competition for SBIR/STTR Phase I and Phase II 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 a Phase III project is not required to conduct another competition in order to satisfy those statutory provisions. Phase III work may be for products, production, services, R/R&D, or any combination thereof that is derived from, extends, or logically concludes efforts performed under prior SBIR/STTR funding agreements. A Federal agency may enter into a Phase III agreement at any time with a Phase I or Phase II awardee.

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

1.5 Eligibility Requirements

1.5.1 Small Business Concern

Only firms qualifying as SBCs, as defined in Section 2.19, are eligible to participate in these programs. Socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned SBCs are particularly encouraged to propose.

1.5.2 Place of Performance

R/R&D must be performed in the United States (Section 2.24). 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 a 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. Prior to award, approval by the Contracting Officer for such specific condition(s) must be in writing.

Note: Offerors are responsible for ensuring that all employees who will work on this contract are eligible under export control and International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) regulations. Any employee who is not a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident may be restricted from working on this contract if the technology is restricted under export control and ITAR regulations unless the prior approval of the Department of State or the Department of Commerce is obtained via a technical assistance agreement or an export license. Violations of these regulations can result in criminal or civil penalties.

1.5.3 Principal Investigator (PI)

The primary employment of the Principal Investigator (PI) shall be with the SBC under the SBIR Program, while under the STTR Program, either the SBC or RI shall employ the PI. Primary employment means that more than 50% of the PI's total employed time (including all concurrent employers, consulting, and self-employed time) is spent with the SBC or RI at time of award and during the entire period of performance. 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, then the offeror must explain how these requirements will be met if the proposal is selected for contract negotiations that may lead to an award. Co-PI's are not allowed.

Note: NASA considers a fulltime workweek to be nominally 40 hours and we consider 19.9-hour workweek elsewhere to be in conflict with this rule.

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.
The offeror must certify in the proposal that the primary employment of the PI will be with the SBC or the RI at the time of award and during the conduct of the project.
Co-Principal Investigators
Not Allowed
Not Allowed
Misrepresentation of Qualifications
Shall result in rejection of the proposal or termination of the contract
Shall result in rejection of the proposal or termination of the contract
Substitution of PIs
Shall receive advanced written approval from NASA
Shall receive advanced written approval from NASA

1.6 NASA SBIR "TAV" Subtopics

Subtopics listed in Section 9. (S3.05 and S3.08) of this solicitation have Technology Available (TAV) with NASA IP. Subtopics with the "TAV" designation address the objective of increasing the commercial application of innovations derived from Federal R&D. While NASA scientists and engineers conduct breakthrough research that leads to innovations, the range of NASA's effort does not extend to product development in any of its intramural research areas. Additional work is necessary to exploit these NASA technologies for either infusion or commercial viability and likely requires innovation on behalf of the private sector. However, NASA provides these technologies "as is" and makes no representation or guarantee that additional effort will result in infusion or commercial viability. As with all SBIR awards, these TAV subtopics are intended to cultivate innovation in the private sector and to identify a commercially promising NASA technology and the technological gaps that must be filled in order to transition it to the marketplace.

The NASA technologies identified in "TAV" subtopics are either protected by NASA-owned patents (NASA IP) or if not patented, are dedicated to the public domain. If a TAV subtopic cites a patent, a non-exclusive, royalty-free research license will be required to use the NASA IP during the SBIR performance period. If there is no patent cited, the technology is freely available for use without the need for any license.

Disclaimer: TAV subtopics may include an offer to license NASA IP on a non-exclusive, royalty-free basis, for research use under the SBIR contract. When included in a TAV subtopic as an available technology, use of the NASA IP is strictly voluntary.Whether or not a firm uses NASA IP within their proposed effort will not in any way be a factor in the selection for award.

All offerors submitting proposals addressing TAV subtopics, citing NASA IP must submit a non-exclusive, royalty-free license application if the use of the NASA IP is desired. The NASA license application is available on the NASA SBIR website: Only those research license applications accompanying proposals that result in an SBIR award under this solicitation will be granted.

SBIR awards resulting from TAV subtopics that list NASA IP will include, as necessary, the grant of a non-exclusive research license to use the NASA IP under the SBIR contract awarded. SBIR offerors are hereby notified that no exclusive or non-exclusive commercialization license to make, use or sell products or services incorporating the NASA IP will be granted unless an SBIR awardee applies for and receives such a license in accordance with the Federal patent licensing regulations at 37 CFR Part 404. Awardees with contracts for subtopics that identify specific NASA IP will be given the opportunity to negotiate a non-exclusive commercialization license or if available, an exclusive commercialization license to the NASA IP.

An SBIR awardee that has been granted a non-exclusive, royalty-free research license to use NASA IP under the SBIR award may, if available and on a non-interference basis, also have to access NASA personnel knowledgeable about the NASA IP. For further information, see Section 5.7.6.

1.7 General Information

1.7.1 Solicitation Distribution

This 2011 SBIR/STTR Program Solicitation is available via the NASA SBIR/STTR Website (, SBCs are encouraged to check the website for program updates and information. Any updates or corrections to the Solicitation will be posted there. If the SBC has difficulty accessing the Solicitation, please contact the Help Desk (Section 1.7.2).

1.7.2 Means of Contacting NASA SBIR/STTR Program

(1) NASA SBIR/STTR Website:

(2) Help Desk: The NASA SBIR/STTR Help Desk can answer any questions regarding clarification of proposal instructions and any administrative matters. 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.

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

Dr. Gary C. Jahns, Program Manager
NASA SBIR/STTR Program Management Office
MS 202A-3, Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000