The Small Business Innovation Research, or SBIR, and Small Business Technology Transfer, or STTR, programs are Congressionally mandated programs that require eligible government agencies to set aside a portion of their budget to encourage small businesses to engage in R&D that has a high potential for commercialization. The SBIR and STTR programs (https://www.sbir.gov/about) provide qualified small businesses, including faculty startups, with opportunities to propose innovative R&D projects that meet specific federal needs. Each program requires a highly competitive award process; that is, not all small business applicants receive funds, and those that do get money, must show potential for commercialization.
To apply for these programs, a small business must respond to a federal solicitation with a proposal. Cross Timbers APEX Accelerator can help with the SBIR/STTR certification. The Office of Research Administration, and other UTA resources on grant writing and technology transfer, can ease the proposal process and increase the chances of winning an award.