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The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants follow a funding ladder similar to that of clean energy technology investors. Phase I funding awards provide up to $200,000. Phase II funding awards provide up to $1.1 million or up to $1.6 million, depending on the technology, and awards known as sequential Phase II awards can provide up to an additional $2.2 million. In some circumstances, a Phase III award of several million may be made at the discretion of U.S. Department of Energy.

Summary of SBIR/STTR Funding Phases and Award Amounts
Phase Task Description Maximum Award
Phase I Proof of concept or refinement of proof of concept, including prototype development Explores feasibility of innovative concepts or prototype construction. Concentrate on research that will contribute to proving scientific or technical feasibility of the concept, but may involve the development of a working prototype.

$200,000 over nine months 

Phase II –initial  Full research and development, including advanced prototypes

Main R&D effort. Now called “initial Phase II” to distinguish it from sequential. Only recipients of Phase I awards may compete for Phase II funding.

Should result in a working prototype, where applicable. 

$1.1 million or

$1.6 million over two years

Depending on technology.

Phase II – second  Full research and development continuation Two types of second or sequential  Phase IIA and Phase IIB grants. Phase IIA grants continue the current research, whereas Phase IIB grants aid in commercialization of the technology.

$1.1 million over two years

Phase II-third

Full research and development with high potential for commercialization

Third Phase II aka Phase IIC- sequential for continued R&D toward commercialization similar review criteria as Phase IIB, For SBIR program only. Matching funds may come from a small business other than applicant, a venture capital firm, an individual investor, a non-SBIR Federal, State or local government, or any combination thereof.

1:1 matching funds only over two years


Get Assistance with Your Application

If you are applying for an SBIR grant for the first time, especially if you are a minority-owned or women-owned small business, or a small business from an under-represented state, you may be able to get assistance with completing your Phase I application through DOE’s Phase 0 assistance program. Learn more