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 Research Idea
Have a ground-breaking idea that can be commercialized?
The proposed topics for this year's soliciation include:
2021-2022 EPA SBIR Topics
- Clean and Safe Water
- Modular decentralized non-potable water reuse for dense urban applications
- Low-input decentralized non-potable water reuse for irrigation applications
- Detection of lead service lines
- Retrofit technologies to improve operation of stormwater management infrastructure
- Technologies to process environmental samples of microplastics
- Technologies to remove microplastics from wastewater or stormwater
- Air Quality
- Air monitoring technology for air toxics
- Low-cost sensors for air toxics and odors
- Continuous emission monitoring system for metal HAPs
- Integrated sampling, continuous monitoring for metal HAP emissions
- Technologies to reduce exposure to radon in buildings
- Air monitoring technology for methane (CH4) from oil and gas storage tanks
- Homeland Security
- Air treatment methods to reduce the risks from transmission of viruses and bacteria in enclosed or semi-enclosed environments
- Sustainable Materials Management
- Innovative technologies that help consumers prevent food waste in acquisition, preparation, and storage of food
- Innovative technologies that will improve the U.S. recycling system
- Low impact reusable and recyclable material alternatives to low value plastic items that escape management
- Low impact construction materials and technologies to reduce embodied carbon of buildings
- Low impact construction materials and technologies to increase resiliency to disasters and recovery of materials generated from these incidents
- Safer Chemicals
- Microphysiological systems for predictive toxicology
- Post application pesticide drift predictor
- PCB-free color technologies
- Risk Assessment
- Software tools and machine-learning applications for systematic review in science assessment
Learn about the eligibility requirements by visiting the Small Business Administration SBIR website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Visit frequently asked questions on the Small Business Administration SBIR website.
The registration process may take 6 – 8 weeks, so it’s important to start early. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted.
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)
- Employer Identification Number (EIN) – The EPA requires both the EIN and a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) 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.
- Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System EXIT – All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin System for Award Management (SAM) and Small Business Administration (SBA) Company registrations.
- System for Award Management – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration.
- FedConnect.net EXIT – FedConnect is a web portal to find and apply for opportunities for federal contracts, grants, and other types of assistance funding.
- SBA Company Registry – All applicants are required to register at the SBA Company Registry prior to application submission and attach proof of registration to their application.
Internal and External Reviewers will Evaluate Your Proposal for Technical and Commercial Merit
EPA uses a combination of internal and external reviewers to ensure the most meritorious proposals are recommended for funding. For SBIR proposals, both a technology’s technical and commercial potential are evaluated during the review process.
The peer reviewers use the following criteria to evaluate each proposal. The criteria are of equal importance.
- Technical Approach
- Company/Team (both technical and commercial qualifications)
- Impact (lifecycle environmental impacts)
- Market Opportunity
- Commercialization Approach
The proposals are ranked based on the technical and commercial reviews. Programmatic balance, Agency priorities, and available funding may also be used in the selection process.
If the proposal is selected for funding, the small business will be contacted by EPA’s Contracts Office. If the proposal is not funded, the applicant will receive a declination letter.
Feasibility Study for 6 Months - $100K (Phase I)
The objective of Phase I is to establish the technical merit, feasibility and commercial potential of the proposed Research and Development (R&D) efforts prior to further federal support in Phase II. SBIR Phase I contracts are up to $100,000 for six months.
Full R&D Toward Commercialization for 2 Years - $400K (Phase II)
The objective of Phase II is to continue the R&D efforts initiated in Phase I. Funding is based on the results achieved in Phase I, the scientific and technical merit, and commercial potential of the projects proposed in Phase II. SBIR Phase II contracts are up to $400,000 for two years.
Further Funding - $100K
EPA offers a “commercialization option” of up to $100,000 for companies that secure third-party investment of $100,000 or more.
Commercialization – Non-SBIR Funds (Phase III)
The objective of Phase III is for the small business to pursue commercialization objectives resulting from the Phase I and II R&D activities. The EPA SBIR program does not fund Phase III.