Small Business and Technology Partnerships (SB&TP)


The Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF) provides a collaborative vehicle for small businesses to provide the department with innovative technologies that can be rapidly inserted into acquisition programs that meet specific defense needs. RIF is administered by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD R&E) and Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP).

The Rapid Innovation Fund is designed to transition small business technologies into defense acquisition programs. The program is designed to fund mature technology ideas. About 90 percent of RIF awards go to small businesses. The average award is $2.1 million.

  • Over 90 percent of RIF awardees said that RIF helped their business base.
  • 62 percent had new employee hires.
  • 57 percent said RIF helped transition their technology.
  • 52 percent benefited from RIF teaming opportunities.
  • 38 percent experienced an increase in market sales.

The goals of the RIF reflect DoD’s emphasis on rapid, responsive acquisition and the engagement of small business innovative technologies that resolve operational challenges or address critical national security needs, and have a demonstration path into a defense acquisition program including, but not limited to capabilities that:

  • Accelerate or enhance a military capability
  • Reduce the development, acquisition, sustainment or lifecycle costs of defense acquisition programs or fielded systems
  • Reduce technical risk
  • Improve the timeliness and thoroughness of test and evaluation outcomes



The Homeland Defense and Capability Development (HDCD) Office. Description: HDCD identifies and examines technology options to counter emerging threats to the homeland while reducing the potential for collateral damage, unintended consequences, and privacy concerns. Our work to identify new technologies and unrecognized aspects of current technologies sustains the continued advancement of the "Homeland Defense Layer" identified in the National Defense Strategy. HDCD is the focal point within the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD (R&E)) Research Technology and Laboratories (RT&L) for improved interagency homeland defense capability development, interoperability, and related investment.



The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation's R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.



The Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) is another program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development (R&D) arena. Central to the program is expansion of the public/private sector partnership to include the joint venture opportunities for small businesses and nonprofit research institutions. The unique feature of the STTR program is the requirement for the small business to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. STTR's most important role is to bridge the gap between performance of basic science and commercialization of resulting innovations.

SBIR/STTR funding opportunities, visit