The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was established under the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-219) and is currently authorized until September 30, 2017.
Federal agencies with extramural research and development budgets over $100 million are required to administer SBIR programs using an annual set-aside of 2.5% for small companies to conduct innovative R&D that has potential for commercialization and public benefit. At present, 11 federal agencies provide more than $2 billion annually to for-profit small business firms and their partners. The federal agencies participating in this program include: the Departments of Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Transportation; the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation. The U.S. Department of Education operates its SBIR program through the Institute of Education Sciences.