The US Department of Education and Institute of Education Sciences’ Small Business Innovation Research Program (ED/IES SBIR) provides seed funding to for-profit small businesses and partners to develop and evaluate new education technology products.
ED/IES SBIR anticipates releasing three open FY2023 solicitations in early to mid-January 2023, with a due date 60 days after release. (ED/IES SBIR will also release a 2023 Phase II solicitation in early 2023, to which only the 2022 ED/IES SBIR Phase I awardees are eligible to apply.). The three open ED/IES SBIR solicitations will be posted on the SAM.gov website first, and a link to these solicitations will be posted on this page soon after release.
Want to get a leg up on the applicants? Here is how…
#1. Read last year’s program solication, which can be found HERE. Reading last year’s solication will give you a good idea of eligibility, registrations that are required, and to get a sense of what is expected of a high-quality SBIR application.
#2. Learn eligibility requirements for SBIR. https://www.sbir.gov/faqs/eligibility-requirements
#3. Learn the ED/IES’ funding priority areas for SBIR. You can find this also in last year’s solication, which can be found HERE. Doing this will help you have a good idea if your innovation aligns with the type of startups they want to fund.
#4. Learn the stage of development you are expected to be at for Phase I applications vs. Phase II applications. All proposals must be for the development of either 1) a new education technology product for which no (or limited) previous development has occurred OR 2) a new component to be added to or integrated with an existing education technology prototype or product. You can find details on this in last year’s solication, which can be found HERE. Doing this will help guide you if ED/IES SBIR program is a fit for you. You will know if you are too early or too developed for their funding.
#5 Understand the success rate. ED/IES has always had a small success rate, with an average of less than 10% of applicants receiving an award. In 2022, there were only 10 Phase I proposals awarded, 9 to Phase II, and 1 to a Direct to Phase II. This is a highly competitive solicitation. However, those that are a true fit and offer a competitive application will be well rewarded for their efforts.