NASA SBIR/STTR 2009 Program Solicitation Details | 2. Definitions

2. Definitions

2.1 Allocation of Rights Agreement


A written agreement negotiated between the Small Business Concern and the single, partnering Research Institution, allocating intellectual property rights and rights, if any, to carry out follow-on research, development, or commercialization.

2.2 Commercialization

Commercialization is a process of developing markets and producing and delivering products or services for sale (whether by the originating party or by others). As used here, commercialization includes both Government and non-Government markets.

2.3 Cooperative Research or Research and Development (R/R&D) Agreement

A financial assistance mechanism used when substantial Federal programmatic involvement with the awardee during performance is anticipated by the issuing agency. The Cooperative R/R&D Agreement contains the responsibilities and respective obligations of the parties.

2.4 Cooperative Research or Research and Development (R/R&D)

For purposes of the NASA STTR Program, cooperative R/R&D is that which is to be conducted jointly by the SBC and the RI in which a minimum of 40 percent of the work (before any cost sharing or fee/profit proposed by the firm) is performed by the SBC and a minimum of 30 percent of the work is performed by the RI.

2.5 Essentially Equivalent Work

The "scientific overlap," which occurs when (1) substantially the same research is proposed for funding in more than one contract proposal or grant application submitted to the same Federal agency; (2) substantially the same research is submitted to two or more different Federal agencies for review and funding consideration; or (3) a specific research objective and the research design for accomplishing an objective are the same or closely related in two or more proposals or awards, regardless of the funding source.

2.6 Funding Agreement

Any contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or other funding transaction entered into between any Federal agency and any entity for the performance of experimental, developmental, research and development, services, or research work funded in whole or in part by the Federal Government.

2.7 HUBZone-Owned SBC

"HUBZone" is an area that is located in one or more of the following:

  • A qualified census tract (as defined in section 42(d)(5)(C)(i)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986);
  • A qualified "non-metropolitan county" that is: not located in a metropolitan statistical area (as defined in section 143(k)(2)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986), and
      • in which the median household income is less than 80 percent of the non-metropolitan State median household income, or
      • that based on the most recent data available from the Secretary of Labor, has an unemployment rate that is not less than 140 percent of the statewide average unemployment rate for the State in which the county is located;
  • Lands within the external boundaries of an Indian reservation.


To participate in the HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program, a concern must be determined to be a "qualified HUBZone small business concern." A firm can be found to be a qualified HUBZone concern, if:

  • It is small,
  • It is located in a "historically underutilized business zone" (HUBZone),
  • It is owned and controlled by one or more U.S. Citizens, and
  • At least 35% of its employees reside in a HUBZone.

2.8 Infusion

The integration of SBIR/STTR developed knowledge or technologies within NASA Programs and Projects, other government agencies and/or commercial entities. This includes integration with NASA Program and Project funding, development and flight and ground demonstrations.

2.9 Innovation

Something new or improved, having marketable potential, including (1) development of new technologies, (2) refinement of existing technologies, or (3) development of new applications for existing technologies.

2.10 Intellectual Property (IP)

The separate and distinct types of intangible property that are referred to collectively as "intellectual property," including but not limited to: patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, SBIR/STTR technical data (as defined in Section 2.14), ideas, designs, know-how, business, technical and research methods, and other types of intangible business assets, and including all types of intangible assets either proposed or generated by the SBC as a result of its participation in the SBIR/STTR Program.

2.11 Principal Investigator (PI)


The one individual designated by the applicant to provide the scientific and technical direction to a project supported by the funding agreement.

2.12 Research Institution (RI)

A U.S. research institution is one that is: (1) a contractor-operated Federally funded research and development center, as identified by the National Science Foundation in accordance with the Government wide Federal Acquisition Regulation issued in Section 35(c)(1) of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy Act (or any successor legislation thereto), or (2) a nonprofit research institution as defined in Section 4(5) of the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, or (3) a nonprofit college or university.

2.13 Research or Research and Development (R/R&D)

Any activity that is (1) a systematic, intensive study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the subject studied, (2) a systematic study directed specifically toward applying new knowledge to meet a recognized need, or (3) a systematic application of knowledge toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including the design, development, and improvement of prototypes and new processes to meet specific requirements.

Note: NASA SBIR/STTR programs do not accept proposals solely directed towards system studies, market research, routine engineering development of existing products or proven concepts and modifications of existing products without substantive innovation (See Section 1.1).

2.14 SBIR/STTR Technical Data

Technical data includes all data generated in the performance of any SBIR/STTR funding agreement.

2.15 SBIR/STTR Technical Data Rights

The rights an SBC obtains for data generated in the performance of any SBIR/STTR funding agreement that an awardee delivers to the Government during or upon completion of a federally funded project, and to which the Government receives a license.

2.16 Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business

A Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned SBC is a small business that:

  1. Not less than 51% of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of any publicly owned business, not less than 51% of the stock of which is owned by one or more service-disabled veterans;
  2. The management and daily business operations of which are controlled by one or more service-disabled veterans or, in the case of a service-disabled veteran with permanent and severe disability, the spouse or permanent caregiver of such veteran; and
  3. Is small as defined by e-CFR §125.11

Service-disabled veteran means a veteran, as defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(2), with a disability that is service connected, as defined in 38 U.S.C. 101(16).

2.17 Small Business Concern (SBC)

An SBC is one that, at the time of award of Phase 1 and Phase 2 funding agreements, meets the following criteria:

  1. Is organized for profit, with a place of business located in the United States, which operates primarily within the United States or which makes a significant contribution to the United States economy through payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor;
  2. Is in the legal form of an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, joint venture, association, trust or cooperative; except that where the form is a joint venture, there can be no more than 49 percent participation by business entities in the joint venture;
  3. Is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States: except in the case of a joint venture, where each entity to the venture must be 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States; and
  4. Has, including its affiliates, not more than 500 employees.

The terms "affiliates" and "number of employees" are defined in greater detail in 13 CFR Part 121.

2.18 Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual

A member of any of the following groups: African American, Hispanic American, Native American, Asian-Pacific American, Subcontinent-Asian American, other groups designated from time to time by SBA to be socially disadvantaged, or any other individual found to be socially and economically disadvantaged by SBA pursuant to Section 8(a) of the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 637(a).

2.19 Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Small Business Concern

A socially and economically disadvantaged SBC is one that is: (1) at least 51 percent owned by (i) an Indian tribe or a native Hawaiian organization: or, (ii) one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals; and (2) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. See 13 CFR Parts 124.103 and 124.104.

2.20 Subcontract

Any agreement, other than one involving an employer-employee relationship, entered into by an awardee of a funding agreement calling for supplies or services for the performance of the original funding agreement.

2.21 Technology Readiness Level (TRLs)

Technology Readiness Level (TRLs) are a uni-dimensional scale used to provide a measure of technology maturity.

Level 1: Basic principles observed and reported.
Level 2: Technology concept and/or application formulated.
Level 3: Analytical and experimental critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept.
Level 4: Component and/or breadboard validation in laboratory environment.
Level 5: Component and/or breadboard validation in relevant environment.
Level 6: System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment (Ground or Space).
Level 7: System prototype demonstration in an operational (space) environment.
Level 8: Actual system completed and (flight) qualified through test and demonstration (Ground and Space).
Level 9: Actual system (flight) proven through successful mission operations.

Additional information on TRLs is available in Appendix B.

2.22 United States

Means the 50 States, the territories and possessions of the Federal Government, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of Palau.

2.23 Veteran-Owned Small Business

A veteran-owned SBC is a small business that: (1) is at least 51% unconditionally owned by one or more veterans (as defined at 38 U.S.C. 101(2)); or in the case of any publicly owned business, at least 51% of the stock of which is unconditionally owned by one or more veterans; and (2) whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more veterans.

2.24 Women-Owned Small Business

A women-owned SBC is a small business that is at least 51 percent owned by a woman or women who also control and operate it. "Control" in this context means exercising the power to make policy decisions. "Operate" in this context means being actively involved in the day-to-day management.