How Small Business & NASA Are Working Together Toward Future Missions

NASA has selected 295 research and technology proposals from 216 American small businesses. These proposals, once negotiated, could lead to contract awards worth an estimated $38.7 million dollars.

The proposals are part of NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program, both setup to help bridge the gap between NASA and small businesses.

The SBIR program looks to solve specific technology gaps the agency could not fill on its own, while looking to assist other agency research. Programs such as modern air traffic control systems, human spaceflight and the International Space Station have all benefited in part from SBIR. The NASA Mars rover program is an example of how the STTR program helps transfer technology developed into a small business.

Awards typically are for six months for the SBIR contracts and 12 months for the STTR contracts. The maximum amount is $125,000 for general SBIR and STTR contracts and $200,000 for SBIR select solicitation proposals.

For the general SBIR Phase I solicitation, NASA chose 236 proposals worth about $29.4 million. For the select SBIR Phase I solicitation, NASA chose 26 proposals worth about $5.1 million. NASA chose 33 proposals with a value of about $4.1 million for STTR Phase I projects. The three solicitations attracted proposals from 32 states.

“NASA’s small business innovation research projects are strong and valuable investments that continue to pay dividends to NASA and the American people,” said Michael Gazarik, NASA’s associate administrator for space technology in Washington. “If successful, these early stage technology concepts will mature to meet NASA’s mission needs while also providing solutions that have wide applicability in the marketplace, potentially becoming new products, services and jobs here in the U.S.”