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NSF 2021 Solicitation Released!

The National Science Foundation (NSF) invests $200 MILLION, without taking equity, each year in entrepreneurs and small businesses focused on research and development of deep technologies - those that are based on discoveries in fundamental science and engineering.

Technology Topic Areas

  • Advanced Analytics (AA)

  • Advanced Manufacturing (M)

  • Advanced Materials (AM)

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Augmented and Virtual Reality (AV)

  • Biological Technologies (BT)

  • Biomedical Technologies (BM)

  • Chemical Technologies (CT)

  • Cloud and High-Performance Computing (CH)

  • Cybersecurity and Authentication (CA)

  • Digital Health (DH)

  • Distributed Ledger (DL)

  • Energy Technologies (EN)

  • Environmental Technologies (ET)

  • Human-Computer Interaction (HC)

  • Instrumentation and Hardware Systems (IH)

  • Internet of Things (I)

  • Learning and Cognition Technologies (LC)

  • Medical Devices (MD)

  • Mobility (MO)

  • Nanotechnology (N)

  • Pharmaceutical Technologies (PT)

  • Photonics (PH)

  • Power Management (PM)

  • Quantum Information Technologies (QT)

  • Robotics (R)

  • Semiconductors (S)

  • Space (SP)

  • Wireless Technologies (W)

View Topic Area Descriptions Here

2021 Submission Windows

February 12 - March 4

March 5 - June 3

June 4 - September 2

September 3 - December 2

Project Pitch

The required Project Pitch, which can be submitted anytime, allows startups and small businesses to get quick feedback at the start of their application for Phase I funding. If your Project Pitch is a good fit for the program, you will receive an official invitation from NSF to submit a full proposal. The Project Pitch will outline four key elements:

  1. The Technology Innovation

  2. The Technical Objectives & Challenges

  3. The Market Opportunity

  4. The Company & Team

Find more details about the Project Pitch here.

How to Apply

To learn about the Phase I application timeline, how to prepare your Project Pitch, and what to expect once you submit your Project Pitch or full proposal, visit

SBIR Phase I Solicitation

STTR Phase I Solicitation

If you have questions about your company's eligibility or whether your technology is a good fit, schedule a consultation with our staff during our open office hours:

Tuesday and Thursday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Spark Opportunity. Ignite Change.

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