US Navy to open new SBIR funding round

In its next round of Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) funding, the Navy will accept proposals from innovative startups and small businesses beginning June 3.

The 20.2 Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) details millions of dollars in available funding for businesses that can provide innovative solutions responsive to any of 55 Navy-specific topics while meeting unmet market demands.

Pre-release for 20.2 opened May 6 and is ongoing until proposal acceptance begins. The latest announcement introduces new opportunities beyond those offered in the previous 20.4 announcement, which closes May 28.

“This funding opportunity can really be an injection of capital to the Inland Empire’s local technology-based economic development efforts,” said Jennifer Stewart, NSWC Corona technology transfer and SBIR manager. “Our region is rich with resources for entrepreneurs to grow their skills and abilities and increase their capacity for successful innovation. I encourage small businesses to take advantage of these resources and explore new ways of strengthening their businesses.

“The goals of the program are to stimulate tech innovation, increase small business participation, foster participation by disadvantaged firms and increase private sector commercialization of technical research and development,” Stewart said in an SBIR webinar for the Corona Chamber.

“The Navy’s SBIR topics are really getting down to the nitty-gritty of providing very specific solutions so our Sailors and Marines can execute their missions. It’s a great opportunity for startups and small businesses to propose solutions,” Stewart said.

The SBIR program was established by Congress in 1982 to strengthen the role of innovative small businesses in federally funded research and development. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, SBIR funding can also be a valuable tool for businesses struggling to stay afloat or forced to rethink business models.

“I like to think of SBIR topics not only as an opportunity for small businesses to offer solutions within the tech space they operate, but for some, it can be an opportunity to reimagine their business and evolve their offerings,” Stewart said. “Maybe with the pandemic, your business is suffering, but how could you pivot your resources to a new customer, in a new direction? SBIR can help you open the door for that new customer. Even in times of adversity, there are resources we have, and sometimes we can deploy them differently.”

Source: US Navy