How to Apply for an SBIR Contract
Use this guide to learn more about the program and guide you through the EPA SBIR application process.
Develop an Innovative Environmental Technology Idea
Have a ground-breaking environmental innovation that can be commercialized? Consider applying for an EPA SBIR contract. Given EPA's modest budget, proposals must be responsive to the specific topics listed in the annual solicitation.
Topic areas change from year to year. For reference, the proposed 2022-2023 EPA SBIR topics are:
Clean and Safe Water
- Decentralized wastewater treatment (septic system) technologies for intentional non-potable reuse
- Technologies to process, sort and identify microplastics
- In-stream aquatic trash capture technologies
- Sensors to detect high priority contaminants of emerging concern (including PFAS)
Air Quality & Climate
- Ambient air monitoring technology for air toxics
- Continuous Emission Monitoring System for metal HAPs
- Air monitoring technology for methane emissions from fugitive sources
- Technologies that reduce exposure to radon in buildings
- Technologies for improved recovery of refrigerant from air conditioning (AC) and refrigeration equipment
- Innovative technology solutions that build community resilience to disasters
- Miniaturized oil spill droplet size sensor for emergency response underwater vehicles
Circular Economy/Sustainable Materials
- Innovative technologies that help consumers prevent food waste in the acquisition, preparation, and storage of food
- Innovative technologies or materials that will improve the U.S. recycling system
- Innovative reduction, reuse, and recycling solutions to advance plastic circularity
- PCB-free color
- Rubber anti-degradant technologies for tires and other rubber products that are lower concern for human health and the environment
- Innovative enhanced efficiency fertilizers
- Software tools and machine-learning applications for systematic review in science assessment for chemical evaluation
Learn about the eligibility requirements by visiting the Small Business Administration SBIR website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Explore frequently asked questions on the Small Business Administration SBIR website.
There are multiple registrations required prior to submitting an EPA SBIR proposal. The registration process may take 6 – 8 weeks, so it’s important to start early.
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) – The EPA requires the EIN number prior to the issuance of a funding award. The EIN base for the organization is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Tax Identification (ID) number, for individuals it is their social security number, both of which are nine-digit numbers.
- System for Award Management (SAM) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active SAM registration, which requires renewal at least annually. Please note, the renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. Note that EPA SBIR awards are made as contracts so please ensure your SAM profile allows for the award of "contracts" or "all awards".
- Unique Entity Identifier Number (UEI) – As of April 4, 2022, the federal government has stopped using DUNS numbers to identify entities. All small businesses are now required to use the UEI assigned by the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). All current SAM.gov registrants have been assigned their UEI and can view them on SAM.gov. Click here for more information.
- FedConnect.net EXIT – FedConnect is the web portal that EPA uses for proposal submission and companies must be registered with FedConnect to submit a proposal.
- SBA Company Registry – All applicants are required to register at the SBA Company Registry prior to proposal submission and include their SBC Control ID with their proposal.
Help with FedConnect:
Please contact FedConnect support EXIT if you have problems:
Toll-free: (800) 899-6665
Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time (except for federal holidays)
Internal and External Reviewers will Evaluate Your Proposal for Technical Strength, Commercial Potential and Impact on EPA's mission
Reviewers use the following criteria to evaluate each proposal.
- Technical Approach
- Company/Team (both technical and commercial qualifications)
- Impact/Relevance to Topic
- Innovation/Intellectual Property
- Market Opportunity
- Commercialization Approach
The proposals are ranked based on these evaluations. Programmatic balance, Agency priorities, and available funding may also be used in the selection process.
Small businesses will be notified via FedConnect once funding decisions have been made. If a proposal is not funded, the applicant can request feedback on their proposal.
Proof of Concept for 6 Months - $100,000 (Phase I)
The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential of the proposed technology prior to further federal support in Phase II.
Development & Commercialization for 2 Years - $400,000 (Phase II)
Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I, the technical merit, and commercial potential and impact of the technology.
Further Funding - $100,000
To accelerate commercialization, EPA offers a “commercialization option” of up to $100,000 in Phase II for companies that secure third-party investment.