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SBIR-STTR Fast-Track



The NSF Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Fast-Track pilot provides eligible teams the opportunity to submit one proposal for more than $2 million over up to three years.



The NSF SBIR/STTR and SBIR/STTR Fast-Track pilot programs support moving scientific excellence and technological innovation from the lab to the market. By funding startups and small businesses, NSF helps build a strong national economy and stimulates the creation of novel products, services, and solutions in private, public, or government sectors with potential for broad impact; strengthens the role of small business in meeting federal research and development needs; increases the commercial application of federally supported research results; and develops and increases the US workforce, especially by fostering and encouraging participation by socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned small businesses.

Unlike NSF's traditional Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs that require multiple proposal submissions to receive an equivalent amount of investment, the NSF SBIR/STTR Fast-Track award provides an immediate pathway to a full funding commitment of more than $2 million over three years. Typically, NSF SBIR/STTR funding is a two-step process: a startup or small business first applies for and receives a Phase I award and, after successful completion of the Phase I award, is eligible to apply for a Phase II award to continue its research and development activities.

In contrast, the SBIR/STTR Fast-Track pilot operates by requiring periodic reviews that can trigger more than $2 million per project, reducing administrative burden for both small businesses and NSF, and focusing on what matters most: getting innovations from the lab to the market and society.


SBIR/STTR Fast-Track solicitation eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the SBIR/STTR Fast-Track pilot, startups and small businesses must:

  • Receive an official invitation via the Project Pitch process to submit a Fast-Track proposal.
  • Propose research and development stemming from research funded by NSF within five years before the proposal submission date.
  • Have completed formal customer discovery training not more than two years prior to the Fast-Track proposal submission date — see the solicitation for details.
  • Have a core team in place at the time of proposal submission; Fast-Track proposals cannot be based on "to be hired" personnel.

Program Solicitation


Full Proposal Deadline(s) 2024-2025

Due by 5 p.m. submitting organization’s local time:

  •      September 18, 2024
  •      November 06, 2024
  •      March 05, 2025
  •      July 02, 2025
  •      November 05, 2025


More information about program requirements and submission deadlines can be found in the SBIR/STTR Fast-Track pilot solicitation.