NSF SBIR 2021 Solicitation

  • February 17, 2021

Yesterday, NSF released its much-awaited 2021 SBIR Solicitation to an eager audience. While much of the solicitation is the same as 2020 (e.g., Budget Amount @ 256K), there are other significant changes you should be aware of before you start preparation. See the new solicitation here.

First, you still have to submit a Project Pitch. NSF Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program Phase I proposers are REQUIRED to submit a three-page “Project Pitch” that outlines the project objectives, technological innovation, and associated technical risks. A small business must receive an official invitation via the Project Pitch process to submit a full proposal to this solicitation. 

Second, be aware of the Submission Window Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter’s local time):

  • February 12, 2021 – March 04, 2021
  • March 05, 2021 – June 03, 2021
  • June 04, 2021 – September 02, 2021
  • September 03, 2021 – December 02, 2021

Small businesses can submit a Project Pitch at any time. Small businesses that have been invited to submit a full proposal can submit a proposal based on that Project Pitch at any time during one of the submission windows listed above (up to one year).

The NSF SBIR/STTR Program has four submission windows, as opposed to specific deadlines, that allow small businesses the flexibility to submit a full proposal at any time within the year.

The proposal submission system (FastLane) will shut down at 5:00 p.m. “proposer’s time” on each submission window closing date, but, with the exception of the final submission window which closes in December, the system will then reopen for new submissions the following morning.

Third, the Project Description itself. The Project Description is now a 10-page minimum (it used to be 9) with a 15-page maximum. Additionally, each of the sections has been reworded or adjusted to accommodate the alignment with NSF’s core objectives. Plus other minor changes throughout the Project Description that you should pay attention to. We strongly recommend that you do not refer to the old solicitation to be sure that you are in alignment with application requirements.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Phase I

National Science Foundation Directorate for Engineering Industrial Innovation and Partnerships Submission Window Date(s) (due by 5 p.m. submitter’s local time): February 12, 2021 – March 04, 2021 March 05, 2021 – June 03, 2021 June 04, 2021 – September 02, 2021 September 03, 2021 – December 02, 2021 Small businesses can submit a Project Pitch at any time.


We are your single source for all your non-dilutive grant funding activities. From identification of relevant funding opportunities through the development of a long-term multi-submission approach to successful execution, and subsequent measuring of your outcomes from your award! We can help you locate funding, apply for funding, and help organizations measure & report on outcomes. Schedule a consult call with us HERE.

error: Alert: This is protected content