AFWERX SBIR/STTR Open Topic: What you need to know

February 8, 2021

What is SBIR and STTR?

Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer are programs offered by the federal government to encourage small businesses to submit proposals with their technology. This opportunity is significant for small businesses that are looking to explore their technological potential but don’t necessarily have all the resources needed to do so.

STTR differs from SBIR in that it requires small businesses to partner with non-profit research institutions, bridging the gap of basic science and commercialization resulting innovation.

What is the Air Force Open Topic?

AFWERX Open Topic Initiative is unique in that the Air Force is looking to small businesses to submit proposals for any innovation they believe would fit the needs of the Air Force. This process will allow for faster contract awards and shorter wait periods for capital funding. This process is being entirely managed by AFWERX in partnership with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and National Security Innovation Network (NSIN).

How do I apply?

To be eligible for the SBIR Open Topic you must:

If you have not registered your business in SAM, received a CAGE code, or DUNS number you should begin that process immediately. Although the application period does not open until September 23, having these in place beforehand will allow you to successful apply at that time.

It should be noted that CT PTAC is available as a resource to help businesses secure the registrations needed to receive funding.

What assistance is available to apply?

CT PTAC provides marketing and procurement assistance to CT businesses interested in selling their services to federal, state or local governments. By registering for assistance from CT PTAC, you will have access to specialists to help you understand the language of the federal government and make sure your business is set up to receive a contract from the federal government.

CT NEXT can help your small business access training and support, strategic counsel and planning assistance. Through their SBIR AccelerateCT program, CT Next offers advanced training sessions open to the public with up to 20 hours of strategic one-on-one assistance for companies.

UConn School of Engineering offers SBIR/STTR support to small businesses through their Innovation Partnership Building. Small businesses have the opportunity to partner with UConn to develop joint research grants, access shared equipment, and work collaboratively with expert faculty. Download the UConn Tech Park Annual Report to learn more.

CTSBDC has a team of no-cost, expert business advisors that work closely with CT small businesses to assist them with the SBIR/STTR process. Contact a business advisor today to get started.

Looking to apply? Register now to view our on-demand webinar with experts from the above organizations explaining in detail how they support small businesses through this process. Applications open September 23. Don’t wait! Start planning your submission today.