NASA SBIR/STTR Program Solicitation Details | 1. Program Description

1. Program Description

1.1 Introduction

This document includes two NASA program solicitations with separate research areas under which small business concerns (SBCs) are invited to submit proposals: the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. Program background information, eligibility requirements for participants, the three program phases, and information for submitting responsive proposals is contained herein. The 2006 Solicitation period for Phase 1 proposals begins July 7, 2006, and ends September 7, 2006.

The purposes of the SBIR/STTR programs, as established by law, are to stimulate technological innovation in the private sector; to strengthen the role of SBCs in meeting Federal research and development needs; to increase the commercial application of these research results; and to encourage participation of socially and economically disadvantaged persons and women-owned small businesses.

Technological innovation is vital to the performance of the NASA mission and to the Nation's prosperity and security. To be eligible for selection, a proposal must present an innovation that fulfills one or more NASA needs as described herein and has significant potential for successful commercialization. Commercialization encompasses the transition of technology into products and services for NASA mission programs, other Government agencies and non-Government markets.

A proposal directed towards system studies, market research, routine engineering development of existing products or proven concepts and modifications of existing products without substantive innovation is considered non-responsive to the solicitations.

Subject to the availability of funds, approximately 250 SBIR and 30 STTR Phase 1 proposals will be selected for negotiation of fixed-price contracts in November 2006. Historically, the ratio of Phase 1 proposals to awards is approximately 8:1 for SBIR and 5:1 for STTR, and approximately 40% of the selected Phase 1 contracts are selected for Phase 2 follow-on efforts.

NASA will not accept more than 10 proposals to either program from any one company in order to ensure the broadest participation of the small business community. NASA does not plan to award more than 5 SBIR contracts and 2 STTR contracts to any offeror.

Proposals must be submitted via the Internet at and include all relevant documentation. Unsolicited proposals will not be accepted.

1.2 Program Authority and Executive Order

SBIR: This Solicitation is issued pursuant to the authority contained in P.L. 106-554 in accordance with policy directives issued by the Small Business Administration. The current law authorizes the program through September 30, 2008. STTR: This Solicitation is issued pursuant to the authority contained in P.L. 107-50 in accordance with policy directives issued by the Small Business Administration. The current law authorizes the program through September 30, 2009. Executive Order: This Solicitation complies with Executive Order 13329 (issued February 24, 2004) directing Federal agencies that administer the SBIR and STTR programs to encourage innovation in manufacturing related research and development consistent with the objectives of each agency and to the extent permitted by law.

1.3 Program Management

The Office of the NASA Associate Administrator provides overall policy direction for the NASA SBIR/STTR programs. The NASA SBIR/STTR Program Management Office, which operates the programs in conjunction with NASA Mission Directorates and Centers, is hosted at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. NASA Glenn Research Center provides the overall procurement management for the programs.

The SBIR Program Solicitation is aligned with the needs of NASA Mission Directorates as described in Section 9.1.

The STTR Program Solicitation is aligned with needs associated with the core competencies of the NASA Centers as described in Section 9.2. The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) does not participate in the management of the STTR Program.

Information regarding the Mission Directorates and the NASA Centers can be obtained at the following websites:

NASA Mission Directorates
Aeronautics Research
Exploration Systems
Space Operations


NASA Centers
Ames Research Center (ARC)
Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC)
Glenn Research Center (GRC)
Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Kennedy Space Center (KSC)
Langley Research Center (LaRC)
Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)
Stennis Space Center (SSC)

1.4 Three-Phase Program

Both the SBIR and STTR programs are divided into three funding and development stages.

1.4.1 Phase 1. The purpose of Phase 1 is to determine the scientific, technical, and commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation, and the quality of the SBC's performance. Phase 1 work and results should provide a sound basis for the continued development, demonstration and delivery of the proposed innovation in Phase 2 and follow-on efforts. Successful completion of Phase 1 objectives is a prerequisite to consideration for a Phase 2 award.

Proposals must conform to the format described in Section 3.2. Evaluation and selection criteria are described in Section 4.1. NASA is solely responsible for determining the relative merit of proposals, their selection for award, and judging the value of Phase 1 results.

Maximum value and period of performance for Phase 1 contracts:

Phase 1 Contracts
Maximum Contract Value
$ 100,000
$ 100,000
Maximum Period of Performance
6 months
12 months

1.4.2 Phase 2. The purpose of Phase 2 is the development, demonstration and delivery of the innovation. Only SBCs awarded Phase 1 contracts are eligible for Phase 2 funding agreements. Phase 2 projects are chosen as a result of competitive evaluations based on selection criteria provided in Section 4.2.

The maximum value for SBIR/STTR Phase 2 contracts is $600,000 with a maximum period of performance of 24 months.

1.4.3 Phase 3. NASA may award Phase 3 contracts for products or services with non-SBIR/STTR funds.The competition for SBIR/STTR Phase 1 and Phase 2 awards satisfies any competition requirement of the Armed Services Procurement Act, the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act, and the Competition in Contracting Act. Therefore, an agency that wishes to fund a Phase 3 project is not required to conduct another competition in order to satisfy those statutory provisions. Phase 3 work may be for products, production, services, R/R&D, or any combination thereof. A Federal agency may enter into a Phase 3 agreement at any time with a Phase 1 or Phase 2 awardee.

There is no limit on the number, duration, type, or dollar value of Phase 3 awards made to a business concern. There is no limit on the time that may elapse between a Phase 1 or Phase 2 and a Phase 3 award. The small business size limits for Phase 1 and Phase 2 awards do not apply to Phase 3 awards.

1.5 Eligibility Requirements

1.5.1 Small Business Concern. Only firms qualifying as SBCs, as defined in Section 2.15, are eligible to participate in these programs.Socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned SBCs are particularly encouraged to propose.

STTR: SBCs must submit a cooperative research agreement with a Research Institution (RI).

1.5.2 Place of Performance. For both Phase 1 and Phase 2, the R/R&D must be performed in the United States (Section 2.19).However, based on a rare and unique circumstance (for example, if a supply or material or other item or project requirement is not available in the United States), NASA may allow a particular portion of the research or R&D work to be performed or obtained in a country outside of the United States. Proposals must clearly indicate if any work will be performed outside the United States. Prior to award, approval by the Contracting Officer for such specific condition(s) must be in writing.

1.5.3 Principal Investigator. The primary employment of the Principal Investigator (PI) must be with the SBC under the SBIR Program, while under the STTR Program the PI may be employed by either the SBC or RI. Primary employment means that more than half of the PI's total employed time (including all concurrent employers, consulting, and self-employed time) is spent with the SBC. Primary employment with a small business concern precludes full-time employment at another organization. If the PI does not currently meet these primary employment requirements, the offeror must explain how these requirements will be met if the proposal is selected for contract negotiations that may lead to an award. U.S. Citizenship is not a requirement for selection.

Primary Employment
PI must be with the SBC
PI must be employed with the RI or SBC
The offeror must certify in the proposal that the primary employment of the PI will be with the SBC at the time of award and during the conduct of the project.
If the PI is not an employee of the SBC, the offeror must describe the management process to ensure SBC control of the project.
Co-Principal Investigators
Not Acceptable
Not Acceptable
Misrepresentation of Qualifications
Will result in rejection of the proposal or termination of the contract
Will result in rejection of the proposal or termination of the contract
Substitution of PIs
Must receive advanced written approval from NASA
Must receive advanced written approval from NASA

1.6 General Information

1.6.1 Solicitation Distribution. This 2006 SBIR/STTR Program Solicitation is available via the NASA SBIR/STTR Website ( are encouraged to check this website for program updates and information. Any updates or corrections to the Solicitation will be posted there. If the SBC has difficulty accessing the Solicitation, contact the Help Desk (Section 1.6.2).

1.6.2 Means of Contacting NASA SBIR/STTR Program

(1) NASA SBIR/STTR Website:

(2) The websites of the NASA Mission Directorates and the NASA Centers as listed in Section 1.3 provide information on NASA plans and mission programs relevant to understanding the topics/subtopics and needs described in Section 9. Please contact the NASA SBIR/STTR Helpdesk at

The requestor must provide the name and telephone number of the person to contact, the organization name and address, and the specific questions or requests.

(4) NASA SBIR/STTR Program Manager. Specific information requests that could not be answered by the Help Desk should be mailed or e-mailed to:

Paul Mexcur, Program Manager
NASA SBIR/STTR Program Management Office
Code 408, Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD 20771-0001

1.6.3 Questions About This Solicitation. To ensure fairness, questions relating to the intent and/or content of research topics in this Solicitation cannot be addressed during the Phase 1 solicitation period.Only questions requesting clarification of proposal instructions and administrative matters will be addressed.