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CHIPS Articles: Navy Announcing $10 Million in New Small Business Funding Opportunities

Navy Announcing $10 Million in New Small Business Funding Opportunities
NavalX offers multiple Tech Bridge locations nationwide
By Warren Duffie Jr., Office of Naval Research - July-September 2020
ARLINGTON, Va.—The Department of the Navy (DON) is offering more than $10 million in funding opportunities to attract new small business partners and identify technology advances in the areas of autonomy, artificial intelligence, microelectronics, and command and control networks.

This effort is being carried out by the DON Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs — both located at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The funding is part of a broader DON initiative to support the national response to the coronavirus pandemic by leveraging and sustaining its own research-and-development industrial base.

The $10 million will be announced through a new Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), which is a request for scientific or research proposals. The BAA, called FY20.3, currently is in pre-release status. It will officially open for proposal submissions on Sept. 23 and close on Oct. 22.

“The investment in the FY20.3 BAA is critical to sustaining the research-and-development defense industrial base during this time of economic crisis and pandemic,” said DON SBIR/STTR Director Bob Smith. “We have increased investment by over 60 percent to ensure vital naval partners survive, while bringing in new partners to meet our technology development needs—representing a $340 million investment since April 2020.”

FY20.3 is one facet of a larger SBIR/STTR effort to make it easier for small businesses to work with the Navy and Marine Corps, with streamlined proposal requirements and expedited payment schedules to make the SBIR/STTR programs faster and more impactful.

SBIR provides the Navy and Marine Corps with innovative advances in technology created by small businesses—while STTR transitions products developed by both small businesses and research institutions.

Navy SBIR/STTR and NavalX

In addition to promoting BAAs like FY20.3, the DON SBIR/STTR programs also strengthen new approaches, such as serving as technology enablers for the NavalX Agility Cell (known as NavalX)—created by the Hon. James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.

NavalX enables collaboration; accelerates the pace of discovery, learning and experimentation; and fosters the naval workforce’s capacity for innovation and agility. It gives Sailors, Marines and DON civilians valuable tools for solving problems and translating ideas into actionable solutions.

This enables naval organizations like ONR to better serve warfighter needs by connecting individuals promoting innovative ideas with experts who can experiment with those ideas, invest in them or help turn them into something tangible for the Navy and Marine Corps.

SBIR/STTR also provides expertise at NavalX’s multiple Tech Bridge locations nationwide.

Tech Bridges represent a partnership between ONR, NavalX, the Navy’s Technology Transfer Program Office and all naval systems commands. They serve as regional innovation hubs where warfare centers, government, academia and industry can team up and work together on technology research, evaluation and commercialization — as well as economic and workforce development.

Learn more about the DON SBIR/STTR programs and BAA FY20.3 at

Office of Naval Research

Warren Duffie Jr. is a contractor for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.

LOWELL, Mass. (Apr. 10, 2019) Robert Smith, director, Department of the Navy Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, provides welcoming remarks during the first day of the Navy Forum for SBIR/ STTR Transition (FST) held at the Tsongas Center at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. In its nineteenth year, the Forum is a long-standing venue for connecting SBIR/STTR-funded technologies with warfighters, government acquisition and technical personnel, large primes, system integrators, and other potential transition partners. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams)
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