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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

ACL/NIDILRR’s Small Business Innovation Research Program to Fund Ideas for Innovative Technology

Do you have an idea for innovative technology that can improve lives of people with disabilities? NIDILRR’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program can help.

This year, NIDILRR’s SBIR program will fund up to ten Phase I feasibility (or proof-of-concept) projects for approximately six months (for up to $100,000 each). After completion of the Phase I stage, most of these businesses can compete for Phase II awards. Phase II awards can last up to 24 months for a total of up to $575,000.

NIDILRR’s SBIR program is unique among SBIR programs in that it focuses solely on the development of knowledge, products and services that benefit the lives of people with disabilities.  The purpose of the broader SBIR program is to: stimulate technological innovation; increase small business participation in federal research and development; foster and encourage participation by minority and disadvantaged persons in technological innovation; and increase private sector commercialization of technology derived from federal research and development. 

NIDILRR’s SBIR program holds one annual Phase I and one annual Phase II competition:

  • Phase I – The objective of Phase I is to determine the scientific or technical merit and feasibility of the proposed research or research & development (R/R&D) efforts. The Phase I period concentrates on the R/R&D efforts that prove the scientific or technical feasibility of the approach or concept.  This feasibility is a prerequisite for further support in Phase II. Phase I awards are for periods up to 6 months in amounts as indicated in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
  • Phase II – The objective of Phase II is to continue the research or R&D effort initiated in Phase I with approaches that have commercialization potential as a result of successful Phase I awards. Phase II awards are for periods up to 2 years in amounts as indicated in the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

Please consider being a reviewer to help us evaluate applications!  Email resume to: [email protected] .

  • Applications are due February 7, 2017.
  • Letters of Intent are due: January 13, 2017.
  • Date for Informational Pre-Application Meeting: January 4, 2017 (email [email protected] to attend).
  • For more information please contact:  Brian Bard at [email protected] or 202-795-7298.

More information: