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U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Research Topics for Upcoming Small Business Innovation Research Program Solicitation

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Six Department Operating Administrations are expected to issue a total of 13 topics for this year’s SBIR Solicitation, totaling $1.9 million

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (the Department) has issued its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program Fiscal Year 2021 pre-solicitation to provide a preview of the 13 topics expected to be featured in this year’s solicitation.  The pre-solicitation also includes an opportunity to submit questions via the Department’s SBIR Q&A website. Information on the proposed topics and how to participate in the Q&A can be found here.

“Small businesses are responsible for two-thirds of net new jobs created in America; this small business innovation research program will help small companies in the transportation sector to build the transportation system of the future,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

The topics expected to be funded this year focus on applying innovation and technology to address research challenges in areas such as materials, infrastructure, and safety across the following Department Operating Administrations:

  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • Federal Railroad Administration
  • Federal Transit Administration
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

This year’s solicitation activities will include the Department’s second annual Pitch Day, which will allow small businesses selected as finalists to virtually “pitch” their proposal idea to Department staff.

Each year, the SBIR Program awards contracts to small businesses across the country to spur research and commercialization of innovative transportation technologies. A full list of past years’ awardees is available here.  

The SBIR Program encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. The program awards contracts in two phases, and recognizes a third phase leading up to commercialization. 

For more information visit the Department’s SBIR Program website