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Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL/SB)
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Wright-Patterson AFB, OH
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DoD SBIR Solicitation 15.3 Pre-Release Starts August 27th

15 U.S.C. §638 (cc), as amended by NDAA FY2012, Sec. 5106, allows the Department of Defense to make an award to a small business concern (SBC) under Phase II of the SBIR program with respect to a project, without regard to whether the SBC was provided an award under Phase I of an SBIR program.

The Air Force is conducting a "Direct to Phase II" pilot implementation of this authority for this (SBIR 15.3) solicitation only and does not guarantee the pilot will be offered in future solicitations. Each eligible topic requires documentation to determine that Phase I feasibility has been met and the technical requirements for a Direct to Phase II proposal.

The Air Force SBIR program is a mission-oriented program that integrates the needs and requirements of the Air Force through R&D topics that have military and/or commercial potential. All Phase II proposals must be prepared and submitted through the Department of Defense (DoD) SBIR/STTR electronic submission site: https://sbir.defensebusiness.org.

Outreach Events

Through the remainder of 2015 we will continue to reach into the small business community across the country. We will engage in under-served states and with disadvantaged businesses/individuals. We plan to participate in several online webinars with other DoD components. Our schedule is subject to change, so please contact us or check-out the News & Events page for current information.

Other Upcoming Events

14th Biennial Hawaii SBIR Conference – Oahu, Hawaii, 22-23 October
Fall National SBIR/STTR Conference – Austin, Texas, 1-3 December (Details TBD)

Program Primer Now Available

Whatever role you play as an SBIR/STTR program stakeholder, this short, but detailed course will deliver the knowledge, tools and resources you need to advance technology innovation for the warfighter and the nation. The Air Force SBIR/STTR Program Basics can be viewed or downloaded from the SBIR/STTR Outreach section of our Publications library.


Success – Read All About It

The principal goal of the Air Force SBIR/STTR programs is to serve the technology needs of the Air Force warfighter. These programs, together with the people who manage them, accomplish this as part of the Air Force's technology development efforts to identify and provide advanced, affordable, and integrated technologies that keep our Air Force the best in the world.

So how are we doing? Our Publications library is loaded with stories and news releases that illustrate how partnerships between the Air Force and small businesses have delivered success again and again. Visit the library frequently as we continue to add new stories weekly.

Technology Spotlight

Innovation by its nature has no boundaries. Consequently, achieving our objective to increase private-sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal research and development means some technology may support the weed fighter, not the warfighter.

Anyone with a lawn or garden has surely wondered about the best method of controlling or eliminating weeds. Using chemicals and herbicides can help, but chemicals may introduce a risk to wildlife or pollinating insects, like bees, in the area of treatment. Besides, bending over to pull weeds can be a pain in the back.

Performing research under a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract, Global Neighbor, Inc., located in Dayton, Ohio, developed and delivered a hand-held, battery-operated weed spot treatment technology, called “NatureZap DE,” that uses directed light energy (both infrared and ultraviolet) to control unwanted vegetation.

The Sikes Act requires the Department of Defense to manage the natural resources of each military reservation within the United States. Edwards Air Force Base, California, like other Air Force bases, complies with these requirements by preparing and implementing an Integrated Natural Resources Management Plan. The purpose of the plan is to protect the natural environment in concert with the military mission and is accomplished by ensuring that the natural habitat and native species of wildlife are sustained.

“Every year millions of dollars are spent on weed control in and around military installations,” said Dr. Danny Reinke, the Air Force program manager for the SBIR effort. “Weed control can either be performed chemically, by applying poisonous herbicides, or mechanically, by mowing or tilling. Herbicide use has negative impacts on wildlife populations, so having a cost-effective device that eliminates their use, or reduces the amount of machinery, was one of our goals.”

NatureZap DE has also been commercialized. The company recently launched a pilot activity to sell its product via Amazon.com.

“For the past ten years, Global Neighbor and our partners at Central State University in Ohio have been engaged in researching, testing and commercializing different alternative solutions for weed control for consumers, farmers and professionals tasked with maintaining landscape,” said Jon Jackson, Global Neighbor’s principal investigator on the project. “With the award of the SBIR Phase II program, we quickly developed a prototype that we were able to then commercialize.”  

The NatureZap DE kills weeds in pavers, sidewalks, gardens and yards without use of chemicals or the risk of harming wildlife living in the treated area. (Courtesy photo)


Read more about this and other innovative small businesses in the Media Center section of our Publications library.

Solicitation status

See our Solicitation Schedule for information on Air Force solicitations. Also see the DoD Solicitations for instructions and additional guidance on topic selections for all of the military services.

 If you are new to the Air Force SBIR/STTR program be sure to review the guidelines and other valuable information on our Phase I Awardee Training page in the Small Business section. We appreciate your feedback on this training:  If you have any comments or need further assistance, please send us an e-mail.

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Using this site

The Air Force SBIR/STTR program office is dedicated to meeting the goals of the program:

  • Stimulate technological innovation
  • Use small businesses to meet federal R/R&D needs
  • Foster and encourage participation by socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses in technological innovation
  • Increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from federal R/R&D

Our website is tailored to meet the needs of all users, whether you are from government, small business, prime contractors or academia. By selecting your area of business or interest on the left side of the page, you will find the information you need to understand and succeed with the Air Force SBIR/STTR programs.

All users have access to various search capabilities, from topics to awards, by using the "Topics/Award Data" tool on the right and the Advanced Technology Search tool, which provides even greater search capabilities.

Additional information, such as points of contact and publications, can be accessed via the links at the top of the page.

Be sure to update any of your bookmarks or shortcuts to our website. The old link, www.sbirsttrmall.com, is no longer valid.

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Please select the area you work within in relation to the SBIR & STTR programs from the menu on the left.