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America’s Seed Fund | Small Business Technology Transfer​


  • Stimulate technological innovation.
  • Foster technology transfer through cooperative R&D between small businesses and research institutions.
  • Increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal R&D.

Program eligibility

Small, independent, for-profit U.S. firms who meet the size, ownership and control requirements of the program

Business retains control of

  • Company team
  • Technical vision
  • Business strategy


List of participating Federal Agencies

Funding mechanism

Grant or contract, depending on the sponsoring agency

More information

About STTR and/or the individual agency’s STTR page

Initiate an ASU STTR subcontract proposal

Contact your unit Research Advancement Administrator.

Financial support

Phase 1: Concept development

Six-month phase that allow the business to explore its product-market fit, determine technology’s feasibility design and test prototypes, identify relevant legal or regulatory issues and develop a plan to scale and market its technology. Funds awarded range between $100,000 – $150,000

Phase 2: Prototype development

Projects with commercial potential, continue research and development efforts initiated in Phase I. Awards are for two years and range between $750,000 – $1,000,000

Phase 3: Commercialization

Unfunded phase where small business pursues commercialization objectives resulting from Phase I and Phase II Research and Development activities.

Note: Sponsoring agencies do have flexibility in their execution of the program. Therefore, it is critical to carefully review the specific sponsor’s funding opportunity announcement prior to applying.


  • Receive funding that does not need to be repaid.
  • Create a firm or offset the cost of research and development in an established small business.
  • Develop a relationship with a research institution or a federally-funded research and development center.
  • Receive commercialization assistance at no charge.
  • Retain intellectual property rights.

Lead organization/principal investigator

The STTR program requires collaboration between a small business and a nonprofit research institution. The small business must serve as the applicant organization. The PI must devote at least 10% effort to the project.  

ASU participation as collaborator

The small business must do at least 40% of the work and the collaborating research institution another 30%. The remaining 30% may be used for work done by the small business, the collaborating nonprofit research institution and/or other subcontractors and consultants.  

Agreement between small business and ASU

Prior to the sponsor issuing an award, there must be an agreement between the small business concern and the research institution (ASU) concerning the allocation of property and commercial rights.  To initiate an agreement, send an email to [email protected]. The subject line should read: “Allocation of Rights Agreement”.

Additional resources

Research Development Blog: SBIR/STTR grants: Helping you commercialize your ideas

Entrepreneurship + Innovation: connecting and collaborating resource for entrepreneurs at all stages across ASU and throughout the Valley of the Sun.