Air Force announces next SBIR opening for AFWERX special topics

By Sara Sirota / August 27, 2019 at 2:38 PM

The Small Business Innovation Research program will begin accepting proposals next month to fill a new commercial solutions opening for AFWERX special topics.

A notice posted on Federal Business Opportunities says vendors can submit bids between Sept. 24 and Oct. 23. It announces changes to the program, including a reduction in the RAPID matching ratio from 4:1 to 2:1 for companies receiving their first SBIR phase II award.

The program allows contractors to propose their own ideas, but the notice lists 10 technology focus areas of interest: artificial intelligence, autonomy, communications, cyber, directed energy, hypersonics, microelectronics, quantum sciences, space and biotechnology.

Companies are eligible for three types of contracts. Phase I awards are usually worth $50,000, with a three-month performance period for research and development to prove the feasibility and commercialization potential of the proposed effort.

Phase II awards are made according to vendors' phase I results and worth $25,000 to $1.5 million for six to 24 months of work on a prototype. SBIR also gives companies an option to apply directly to phase II.

For phase III contracts, proposers must secure funding from the private sector or a non-SBIR government source to transition prototypes into products for sale in military or private sector markets.