The UMass Small Business Innovation Research Center of Excellence is located in the UMass Lowell Research Institute.

We offer access to an inner circle of SBIR process experts, as well as in-reach to scientists at UMass (all campuses) who can enhance your proposing team. We are excited about our new Northstar Campus that can also host startups! We expect to open this summer and have a ribbon cutting in the fall...

We help mentor and guide your business through the SBIR process, and have a contracts specialist on board for post-award questions.

News & Announcements

Our 2020 $20k Semifinalists and Winners were announced! See our News and Events page.

Entrepreneurship support for Veterans: Bunker Labs coaches veterans and their family members (military families) looking to start a business. They had their ribbon cutting for their Boston location a few months ago, and they have offices nation-wide.

Mass Innovation Nights offers a great way to showcase your startup. They organize events around themes so it offers and efficient way to meet collaborators and investors.

Other innovation support: The Fellowship website has an interesting 2-year program for high-tech entrepreneurs. The Boston-area host is Lincoln Labs.

Open and Pending Small Business Innovation Research Solicitations

  • The latest SBIR solicitation (20.3) from the Department of Defense is out. Open topics from AFWERx again too. Go to their DSIP portal to register, read, and apply.
  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) has doubled its number of submission windows! This increase makes it more like a rolling application. The next close dates for 2020 are June 4, September 3, and December 3. But remember, you can submit any time! Don't wait until those exact days -- you could have problems with registration etc. that may time you out.
  • Next National Institutes of Health (NIH) SBIR due date is Sept 5. See their Omnibus and reach out to the appropriate SBIR contact there to get some feedback first. But they have had a lot of special calls for Covid-19. There is the BARDA "EZ BAA" (open until Oct 30) for therapeutics and a new "RADx" for diagnostics. Your team can also hop on a current grant and enhance it with covid-19 work. 
  • DOD 20.2 full pre-release opened May 6. You have only 1 month to make calls to the technical points of contact! See their Small Business Innovation Research website for more information.
  • Department of Energy has an enhanced "Phase 0" Program that offers assistance with market research and more. The goal is to increase the number of successful SBIR applications. 

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

Northstar Campus logo

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research and Development that has the potential for commercialization. Phase I grants are typically proof-of-concept studies awarded at $150-$200k and lasting 6-9 months. Phase II grants are on the order of $1M and the period of performance is typically 2 years. By the end of Phase II, the product should be ready for sale. Phase III programs are acquisition programs. ..."Americas Seed Fund" supports entrepreneurs and national research and development needs. Never done one before? Great! The government wants new companies to participate.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR)

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) is another program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. These create joint-venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions (like UMass) in Phase I and Phase II research. The overall finding amounts, period-of-performance, and proposal process is nearly identical to SBIRs. A small company must lead the effort and serve a principal investigator. STTRs accelerate the commercialization of R&D from universities and national labs.


Please contact Stephanie Hutch at 508-851-0325 or for more information.