Navy strengthens defense industrial base with new small business funding opportunity

To support the national response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of the Navy (DoN) must leverage and sustain its research-and-development industrial base–and attract new small business partners.

The Navy and Marine Corps are doing so by harnessing the DoN’s agile Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs–both located at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). The programs announced today $30 million in rapid-funding opportunities through a new Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), which is a request for scientific or research proposals. The BAA can be viewed at

“During this national emergency, the Naval Research Enterprise must engage all activities to ensure we accomplish our current workload, make sure vital naval partners survive current economic conditions, and bring in new partners,” said DoN SBIR/STTR Director Bob Smith. “I’m proud the DoN SBIR/STTR programs are taking bold steps to maintain the defense industrial base through accelerated funding awards.”

The new BAA, titled DoN SBIR FY20.4, will close on May 28. It seeks proposals from innovative small businesses and startups for high-impact, scalable technologies that address both naval requirements and the needs of the commercial market. Areas of interest to the Navy and Marine Corps include:

  • Modernization and sustainment (maintenance and repair of military assets)
  • Digital logistics (security, analysis, management and flow of digital information and data)
  • Deployable manufacturability (rapid, on-demand manufacturing of deployable systems supporting diverse payloads and missions)
  • Resilient communications (expanded communications capabilities for fast, coordinated response during a global crisis)

BAA FY20.4 is just one facet of a broader DoN SBIR/STTR effort to sustain the defense industrial base during the COVID-19 response, by awarding more than $250 million in funding over the next 90 days.

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 FY20.4, the DoN SBIR/STTR programs also look to strengthen new approaches, like serving as technology enablers for the Naval Expeditions (NavalX) Agility Office–created by the Hon. James Geurts, assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.

NavalX gives Sailors, Marines and DoN civilians tools to put good ideas into action. This enables naval organizations like ONR and SBIR/STTR to better connect warfighters with experts and small businesses.

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

A partnership between ONR, NavalX, the Navy’s Technology Transfer Program Office, and all naval systems commands, Tech Bridges are 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 FY20.4 at

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