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

1. Phase II Program Description

1.1 Introduction

This document provides a general description of the NASA SBIR/STTR Phase II Program and proposal submission requirements. All small business concerns (SBCs) that are awarded and have successfully completed their Phase I contracts are invited to submit Phase II proposals. Receipt of Phase II proposals are due on the last day of performance under SBIR/STTR Phase I contracts, the submission period will be available approximately 6 weeks prior to the contract completion date.

Proposals must be submitted online via the Proposal Submissions Electronic Handbook at and include all relevant documentation. 

1.2 Phase II Description

Phase II

The purpose of Phase II is the development, demonstration and delivery of the innovation. Only SBCs awarded a Phase I contract are eligible to submit a proposal for a Phase II funding agreement. Phase II projects are chosen as a result of competitive evaluations and based on selection criteria provided in the Phase II Proposal Instructions and Evaluation Criteria.   

Maximum value and period of performance for Phase II contracts:

Phase II Contracts



Maximum Contract Value



Maximum Period of Performance

24 months

24 months

1.3 Eligibility Requirements

1.3.1 Small Business Concern 

Only firms qualifying as SBCs are eligible to participate in these programs. Socially and economically disadvantaged and women-owned SBCs are particularly encouraged to propose.

1.3.2 Place of Performance 

R/R&D must be performed in the United States. 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., including subcontractor performance. Prior to award, approval by the Contracting Officer for such specific condition(s) must be in writing.

1.3.3 Principal Investigator (PI) Employment Requirement

The primary employment of the Principal Investigator (PI) shall be with the SBC under the SBIR Program, while under the STTR Program, either the SBC or RI shall employ the PI. Primary employment means that more than 50% of the PI’s total employed time (including all concurrent employers, consulting, and self-employed time) is spent with the SBC or RI at time of award and during the entire period of performance. 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, then the offeror must explain how these requirements will be met if the proposal is selected for contract negotiations that may lead to an award. Co-Principle Investigators are not allowed.

Note: NASA considers a fulltime workweek to be nominally 40 hours and we consider 19.9-hour or more workweek elsewhere to be in conflict with this rule. In rare occasions, minor deviations from this requirement may be necessary; however, any minor deviation must be approved in writing by the contracting officer after consultation with the NASA SBIR/STTR Program Manager/Business Manager.




Primary Employment

PI shall be primarily employed with the SBC

PI shall 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

The offeror must certify in the proposal that the primary employment of the PI will be with the SBC or the RI at the time of award and during the conduct of the project



Not Allowed

Not Allowed

Misrepresentation of Qualifications

Shall result in rejection of the proposal or termination of the contract

Shall result in rejection of the proposal or termination of the contract

Substitution of PIs

Requires an prior approval from NASA

Requires an prior approval from NASA

1.4 NASA SBIR/STTR Technology Available (TAV)

All subtopics have the option of using Technology Available (TAV) with NASA IP (defined below), which may also include NASA non-patented software technology requiring a Software Usage Agreement (SUA) or similar permission for use by others. All subtopics address the objective of increasing the commercial application of innovations derived from Federal R&D. While NASA scientists and engineers conduct breakthrough research that leads to innovations, the range of NASA's effort does not extend to commercial product development in any of its intramural research areas. Additional work is often necessary to exploit these NASA technologies for either infusion or commercial viability and likely requires innovation on behalf of the private sector. NASA provides these technologies "as is" and makes no representation or guarantee that additional effort will result in infusion or commercial viability.

The NASA technologies identified in a subtopic or via the NASA Technology Transfer Portal (1) are protected by NASA-owned patents, (2) are non-patented NASA-owned or controlled software, or (3) are otherwise available for use by the public. In the event an offeror requests to use NASA owned or controlled technologies, which are not NASA patents or NASA software, NASA shall consider such request and permit such uses as NASA, in its sole discretion, deems appropriate and permissible. If a proposer elects to use a NASA patent, a non-exclusive, royalty-free research license will be required to use the NASA IP during the SBIR/STTR performance period.

Similarly, if a proposer wishes to use NASA software, the parties will be required to enter into a Software Usage Agreement on a non-exclusive, royalty-free basis in order to use such NASA software for government purposes and “Government-Furnished Computer Software and Related Technical Data” will apply to the contract. As used herein, “NASA IP” refers collectively to NASA patents and NASA software. Disclaimer: All subtopics include an opportunity to license or otherwise use NASA IP on a non-exclusive, royalty-free basis, for research use under the contract. Use of the NASA IP is strictly voluntary. Whether or not a firm uses NASA IP within their proposed effort will not in any way be a factor in the selection for award. NASA software release is governed by NPR 2210.1C.

Use of NASA Software

Software identified and requested under a SBIR/STTR contract shall be treated as Government Purpose Rights. Government purpose releases includes releases to other NASA Centers, Federal government agencies, and recipients who have a government contract. The software may be used for "government purposes" only. Non U.S. citizens will not be allowed access to NASA software under the SBIR/STTR contract.

A Software Usage Agreement (SUA) shall be requested after contract award from the appropriate NASA Center Software Release Authority (SRA). The SUA request shall include the NASA software title, version number, requesting firm contract info including recipient name, and SBIR/STTR contract award info. The SUA will expire when the contract ends. 

Use of NASA Patent

All offerors submitting proposals citing a NASA patent must submit a non-exclusive, royalty-free license application if the use of a NASA patent is desired. The NASA license application is available on the NASA SBIR/STTR website: NASA only will grant research licenses to those SBIR/STTR offerors who submitted a license application and whose proposal resulted in an SBIR/STTR award under this solicitation. Such grant of non-exclusive research license will be set forth in the successful offeror’s SBIR/STTR contract. License applications will be treated in accordance with Federal patent licensing regulations as provided in 37 CFR Part 404.

SBIR/STTR offerors are notified that no exclusive or non-exclusive commercialization license to make, use or sell products or services incorporating the NASA patent will be granted unless an SBIR/STTR offeror applies for and receives such a license in accordance with the Federal patent licensing regulations at 37 CFR Part 404. Awardees with contracts that identify a specific NASA patent will be given the opportunity to negotiate a non-exclusive commercialization license or, if available, an exclusive commercialization license to the NASA patent.

An SBIR/STTR awardee that has been granted a non-exclusive, royalty-free research license to use a NASA patent under the SBIR/STTR award may, if available and on a non-interference basis, also have access to NASA personnel knowledgeable about the NASA patent. The NASA Intellectual Property Manager (IPM) located at the appropriate NASA Center will be available to assist awardees requesting information about a patent that was identified in the SBIR/STTR contract and, if available and on a non-interference basis, provide access to the inventor or surrogate for the purpose of knowledge transfer.

Note: Access to the inventor for the purpose of knowledge transfer, will require the requestor to enter into a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), the awardee “may” be required to reimburse NASA for knowledge transfer activities.  For Phase I proposals this is a time consuming process and is not recommended.

1.5 Commercialization Technical Assistance

In accordance with the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 632), NASA will authorize the recipient of a Phase I SBIR award to purchase technical assistance services, such as access to a network of scientists and engineers engaged in a wide range of technologies, or access to technical and business literature available through on-line data bases, for the purpose of assisting such concerns in:

  1. Making better technical decisions concerning such projects.
  2. Solving technical problems which arise during the conduct of such projects.
  3. Minimizing technical risks associated with such projects.
  4. Developing and commercializing new commercial products and processes resulting from such projects.

If you are interested in proposing the use of a vendor for technical assistance, you must complete the “Technical Assistance” section located under Other Direct Costs (ODCs) in the Budget Summary (Form C). You must provide the vendor name and contact information, the proposed amount not to exceed $5,000, and a detailed explanation of the services to be provided. You must also upload a price quote from the vendor including their DUNS number.  Approval of technical assistance is not guaranteed and is subject to review by the contracting officer. Please note that this commercialization assistance does not count toward the maximum award size in either Phase I or Phase II.