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SBIR Selection Process

Phase I

All proposals are subject to a comprehensive and rigorous selection process that includes the consideration of:

  • Only those technical topics that have undergone scrutiny within the technical laboratories, from bench researcher, up through division level, and formally approved by the laboratory technical deputy director, are published in the annual solicitation document.
  • An administrative screening to ensure each proposal meets the administrative requirements outlined in the solicitation document. Proposals failing to meet these requirements are returned to the proposer without technical reviews.
  • An in-depth technical evaluation by three independent NIST scientists or engineers knowledgeable in the specific field of technology of the proposal. This peer evaluation of the proposal is uniform across the agency and made according to five (5) pre-determined and announced criteria based on a numerical scale.
  • A NIST-wide selection panel review of technically superior proposals scored on the potential to meet NIST program priorities, economic impact, and SBIR program priorities.  

Phase II

All Phase I awardees are permitted to submit proposals for a basic research effort in Phase II. These Phase II proposals are subjected to a comprehensive and rigorous selection process that includes the consideration of:

  • An in-depth technical evaluation will be conducted by three independent scientists or engineers who are NIST or other government employees knowledgeable in the specific field of technology of the proposal.
  • The technical evaluation of the proposal is uniform across the agency and made according to pre-determined and announced criteria based on a numerical scale, as required by congressional legislation creating the program.
  • This technical review and evaluation is based upon extensive information including the success of the Phase I effort as contained in a final report from the proposer and a commercialization plan developed by the proposer.