Translate DoD technology needs into opportunities to leverage the innovation potential of small businesses and entrepreneurs, incentivize transition and commercialization, and foster a collaborative environment across DoD, Federal agencies, industry and academia.
Be recognized across the DoD enterprise as an impactful source for technological innovation and advanced capabilities that address national security challenges and contributes to a strong defense industrial base.
  • Stimulate technological innovation for DoD to maintain technological superiority and military readiness to deter military operations from U.S. adversaries.
  • Increase private sector commercialization of Federal R&D to increase competition, productivity, and economic growth.
  • Stimulate a partnership of ideas and technologies between innovative small businesses and research institutions (STTR).
  • Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR/STTR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization.
  • By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific R&D needs.
The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management and program evaluation. The OSD includes the offices of top civilian defense decision-makers with regard to personnel, weapons acquisition, research, intelligence and fiscal policy, as well as offices the Secretary establishes to assist in carrying out assigned responsibilities.

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was established in 1982 to strengthen the role of innovative SBCs in Federally-funded research or research and development (R/R&D).  Specific program purposes are to: (1) stimulate technological innovation; (2) use small business to meet Federal R/R&D needs; (3) foster and encourage participation by socially and economically disadvantaged SBCs (SDBs), and by women-owned SBCs (WOSBs), in technological innovation; and, (4) increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal R/R&D, thereby increasing competition, productivity and economic growth.
Established in 1992, the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program expands public/private sector partnerships and stimulates ideas and technologies between innovative SBCs and non-profit Research Institutions. By providing awards to SBCs for cooperative R/R&D efforts through formal collaborations with Research Institutions, the STTR program assists the U.S. small business and research communities by supporting the commercialization of innovative technologies. STTR’s most important role is to bridge the gap between basic R&D and commercialization of resulting innovations.
The SBIR and STTR Programs are the nation's largest source of early-stage technology financing, and are funded at more than $4 billion annually. The Department of Defense (DoD) accounts for more than half of the federal government's total SBIR/STTR program. 15 USC 638 Sections 9(j) and 9(p) of the Small Business Act – require that the Small Business Administration (SBA) issue Policy Directives for the general conduct of the SBIR and STTR programs within the Federal Government. However, each Federal agency independently manages its SBIR and STTR programs independently in accordance with SBA policy, and has the flexibility to tailor its program to meet the needs of the individual agency.

The SBIR and STTR programs are funded through the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The federal budget process occurs in two stages: appropriations and authorizations. The NDAA is an authorization bill, which directs how federal funds should or should not be used. NDAAs often include direction and requirements that supplement the provisions set forth in the Small Business Act that impact the SBIR and STTR programs in the areas of contracting, reporting, and other provisions. 
These programs have a combined budget nearly $1.8B.

Ms. Susan Celis

DoD SBIR/STTR Program Manager

Ms. Celis has served the Department of Defense (DoD) for over 30 years; starting at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1988 until 2004, where she held a variety of positions in financial management, personnel management, program analysis/management, computer information systems development, and training. It was during this period in her career that she became involved with the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Next, she served as the U.S. Army SBIR Program Manager from 2004-2008, where she developed and successfully implemented several program and system modernization initiatives. For eleven years she served as the SBIR/STTR Program Manager at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where she focused on creating an environment that considers small business concerns as a primary source of innovative solutions. In 2019, she joined the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense Research and Engineering to manage the DoD SBIR/STTR programs, and is currently serving as the DoD SBIR/STTR Program Manager.  Ms. Celis holds a Bachelor of Science in Management and Computer Information Systems from Park University, and a Master of Public Administration from American University.

Mr. Matthew B. Williams

Technology Portfolio Manager

Mr. Matthew Williams is the Technology Portfolio Manager for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering’s SBIR/STTR program. Mr. Williams manages transition activities designed to assist Small Businesses Concerns in getting their technology developed and inserted into Acquisition Program of Records, Systems and Sub-Systems used by our warfighters across the agencies. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Williams was the NAVAIR SBIR Commercialization Readiness Program (CRP) Manager. The mission of NAVAIR’s CRP program is to provide NAVAIR Program Managers (PMA’s), Competency Managers and Naval Air Warfare Centers (NAWC’s) with transition funding and strategies for state of the art SBIR technologies to be transitioned and/or integrated to NAVAIR Acquisition Program of Records, Research Laboratories and Fleet Readiness Centers. Mr. Williams was also NAVAIR’s Phase III Contracting Manager, overseeing contracting support / services to five (5) Program Executive Officers (PEO’s), thirty-three (33) Programs (PMA’s) and five (5) Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC’s) - managing over 400 contract actions – valued in excess of $400M annually. Mr. Williams retired in 2001 after 24 years serving as a Naval Flight Engineer. Mr. Williams holds a BS/MS in Professional Aeronautics and Management from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.

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