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ELEVATE IDAHO is a new program developed by the Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI), the Idaho Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and the Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to connect Idaho entrepreneurs with the resources they need to take their ventures to the next level of success.

Under ELEVATE IDAHO, REDI, PTAC and SBDC pulled together a unique partnership with statewide leaders to launch the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center. Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center consists of a strong statewide network of mentors with expertise in the SBIR/STTR Grant Program. This unique partnership brings together the resources required to build and expand a robust SBIR/STTR program in Idaho and to assist Idaho businesses to apply for federal funding through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. The SBIR and STTR grant programs are non-dilutive funds dedicated to the research and development of new technologies with commercial value. So, what are non-dilutive funds? They are funds that do not require businesses to give up equity or ownership of their company.

The Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center is the epicenter for all SBIR/STTR activities in Idaho. The Center provides virtual training and educational workshops, virtual one-on-one consulting, virtual writing assistance, virtual proposal reviews, virtual assistance with strategic commercialization planning, and real-time collaboration between researchers, entrepreneurs, innovators, start-ups, and tech-based economic development partners across Idaho. The Center also provides the means to bring together collaboration opportunities that would not otherwise have taken place, and most importantly, strengthen Idaho’s regional and statewide entrepreneurial and research ecosystem.

Whether you are a beginner, or a novice in the grant process, the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team is here to assist you every step of the way. The Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center is administered through Regional Economic Development for Eastern Idaho (REDI), Idaho Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), and the Idaho Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Idaho Falls.

For more information contact: Lori Manning or Teresa McKnight.  




Interested in learning more about the SBIR and STTR Programs?  We encourage you to attend the following:

  • SBIR/STTR Workshops will be held on the second Wednesday of each month at 12:00/noon beginning on Wednesday, August 11th. These workshops will be held every month thereafter.
  • SBIR/STTR Road Tour will be held July 19 – 23, 2021This year’s event will be a National Virtual SBIR Road Tour. For more information, and to register, please click on the following link: Idaho 2021 Road Tour.
  • From October 2021 – September 2022 (dates still to be determined so stay tuned!), we will hold SBIR Commercialization Training and SBIR Monthly Master Classes. These are interactive forums where all attendees collaborate as a group. These Forums will include a Q&A session; allows attendees to share challenges, discoveries, and pathways; and review potential opportunities with various federal agencies.  Attendees learn from each other as well as from the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team.



Frequently Asked Questions

SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) and STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) grants fund small businesses research and development (R&D) projects. Every year, the federal government sets aside $3.6 billion to help small businesses minimize risk so innovative technology moves to commercialization.

There are eleven federal agencies that participate under the SBIR program, five of which also participate in the STTR program. Both programs are congressionally mandated programs. These non-equity dollars are set aside to assist in moving forward a company’s research and development efforts. Because they are non-dilutive federal dollars, there is no loss of equity or ownership, and no payback of funds required.

There is approximately $3.6 billion dollars available under eleven federal agencies to fund small business research and development through the SBIR and STTR programs. These dollars are offered in competitive phases:

  • Phase I typically offers $150,000 to $225,000 for a six-month project to prove the feasibility and technical merit of your idea or technology.
  • Phase II typically offers $1 million to $1.5 million for a 24-month project and is meant to expand the Phase I results and evaluate commercial potential.
  • Phase III takes place as the technology moves from the laboratory to the marketplace. While SBIR and STTR funds do not support this phase, some agencies offer sole-source contracts or follow-on non-SBIR funded research and development to help small businesses commercialize a product.

SBIR/STTR funds can be used for:

  • Salaries and fringe benefits
  • Overhead costs
  • Materials and Supplies
  • Consultants 
  • Subcontractors

SBIR/STTR funds cannot be used for:

  • Attorney fees and Patent Costs
  • Marketing
  • Brick and mortar
  • Setting up a lab

However, a reasonable fee or profit of up to 7% can be included in the budget. These funds can be used at the discretion of the small business in any category.

All companies that possess an Idaho business license and are eligible for the federal SBIR/STTR program. Individuals can contact the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team to learn more.  

The company must meet the following federal requirements:

  • For-profit company
  • American-owned
  • At least 51% owned by individual(s)
  • Have 500 or fewer employees (determined by NAICS code)

To apply for SBIR or STTR funding, you may:

  • Contact the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team. The Team will get acquainted with your company and your project.  They will help assess your technology and provide feedback in regard to how well you fit within the SBIR/STTR programs and identify any gaps found during the assessment.
  • We encourage interested companies to begin the process early to register their business through the federal registration process.  Please contact the Idaho PTAC Office to assist you with registration.  
  • In addition, we encourage you to search for an agency and topic that meets the needs of your technology and aligns with your business strategy. If you are not sure, one of the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team members can help you with this process.
  • It is important, once you identify the agency and topic, you read through the solicitation process and begin drafting an outline of your plan for your Phase I.  
  • At any time, you can contact the representative of the selected federal agency and solicit a topic by email to request a meeting by phone to discuss your plan.
  • After you meet with the representative of the selected federal agency, and you decide you want to pursue a SBIR or STTR grant, you will work with the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team to draft your proposal.
  • We encourage you to work with the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team to assure your proposal is strong, your budgets complete, and any additional required documents have been completed.
  • Once the above is completed, you can begin to finalize all documents and organize the documents in a packet for submission.

The information outlined is a brief overview to guide you through the process. Please do not hesitate to contact the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team if you have questions or require assistance. Additionally, we encourage you to participate in our Workshop sessions to learn more about the program, the process, and the tools to develop and move your application forward.

We offer a full range of services to small businesses interested in SBIR and STTR funding.  Services include:

  • Consultations
  • Training through Workshops 
  • Proposal guidance and evaluation
  • Grant Writing Assistance Services (provided by the Idaho State University Commercialization Center)
  • Review and editing
  • Submission assistance

  • There is no cost for the services outlined.  
  • If you participate in the SBIR/STTR Road Tour, there may be a nominal cost for additional workshops and seminars for this once-a-year opportunity.

The SBIR Road Tour is a national outreach effort connecting entrepreneurs working on advanced technologies directly to Federal agencies and the resources they have to support technology commercialization. Since its inception in 2015, the SBIR Road Tour has visited every state and Puerto Rico. These stops have brought together local innovation ecosystems around the country and connected entrepreneurs to additional resources to help their small businesses start and grow.

In the past, the yearly SBIR Road Tour has been held in Idaho Falls and Boise. Due to COVID, the 2020 Road Tour was held virtually. The 2021 Road Tour will be a national virtual tour.  For more information on the Idaho SBIR Road Tour, please click on the following link: SBIR Road Tour – Seeding America's Future Innovations.

Agencies are mandated by Congress to participate in the SBIR program when their extramural research budget is greater than $100 million and under the STTR program when it is over $1 billion. Currently, 11 agencies participate in the SBIR program, of which, five also participate in the STTR program. A list of Agencies can be found by clicking the following link - SBIR-STTR Agency Contacts. You will also find a list below:

For links and guidance on SBIR and STTR funding you can go to: or any of the individual agencies listed above. There are more than 7,000 possibilities or combinations for federal funding under the SBIR/STTR programs.

You can also search for open topics at: Open Topic Search

Nothing! There is no loss of technology ownership, no loss of intellectual property, and no payback of funds. There is a clause in the award language, however, authorizing the federal government to license the technology in a national emergency. Which has rarely ever happened. 

The Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center offers the following:

  • Free monthly SBIR/STTR workshops on the second Wednesday of each month.  Monthly workshops are scheduled at 12:00/noon.  Pre-registration is required.  It’s a great first step to learn more about the SBIR/STTR programs and meet our team members.
  • Call or email the Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Team to schedule a free consultation.


News & Highlights

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Contact Us

Lori Manning

Idaho PTAC Program Director

(208) 562-3746

Teresa McKnight


(208) 522-2014

Dave Noack

Program Director, SBDC

(208) 523-1087

Bam Omotowa

PTAC Counselor & SBIR Representative

(208) 535-3288


Satellite Offices and Contacts

The Idaho SBIR/STTR Virtual Innovation Center Satellite Offices are strategically located across the State of IdahoPartners include:

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