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Who is Eligible?

There are a variety of eligibility criteria and because space is limited, DOE Phase 0 applicants are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. However, each small business is evaluated for selection to receive administrative and technical assistance based on the following selection criteria:

  1. The small business offers technology innovations relevant to the current and open DOE SBIR/STTR research topics and subtopics; NOTE: The DOE SBIR/STTR Programs Office publishes the research area subtopics covered under each Funding Opportunity Announcement twice a year (usually July and October) and can be found on the DOE SBIR/STTR web site at;
  2. The small business is or will be prior to award an eligible small business per 13 CFR 121.702;
  3. The small business has not previously applied for an SBIR or STTR award from the DOE;

  4. Small business and/or owner has not received any Phase 0 technical assistance from DOE.

The DOE is particularly interested in providing support to U.S. women-owned, and socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses located anywhere in the U.S. and its territories that work with advanced technologies.


To any U.S. small, advanced technology firms currently located in the following under represented states, districts, and territories: AK, AR, DC, GA, HI, IA, IN, KS, LA, ME, MN, MS, MO, NC, NE, ND, NY, OK, PA, PR, RI, SC, TN, WV, WI.


The following states, districts and territories are currently identified by the DOE SBIR/STTR Programs Office as underrepresented in terms of the number of applications received and awarded DOE SBIR/STTR grants: Alaska, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

A WOSB is a small business concern that is at least 51 percent directly and unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more women who are citizens (born or naturalized) of the United States.

Under the Small Business Act (15 USC 637), the U.S. Federal government defines the following socially and economically disadvantaged small business ownership as:

  • Black Americans
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Native Americans (Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, or enrolled members of a Federally or State recognized Indian Tribe)
  • Asian Pacific Americans (persons with origins from Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, Japan, China (including Hong Kong), Taiwan, Laos, Cambodia (Kampuchea), Vietnam, Korea, The Philippines, U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands (Republic of Palau), Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Samoa, Macao, Fiji, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, or Nauru); and
  • Subcontinent Asian Americans (persons with origins from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, the Maldives Islands or Nepal)

This coverage extends only to socially and economically disadvantaged citizens of the United States or those who have been lawfully admitted permanent U.S. residency (13 CFR 124.103).

Apply today!

Before applying, please refer to the
DOE SBIR/STTR FY2020 Phase I Release 2 grant topics document

FY2020 Phase I Release 2

Do not apply for the DOE Phase 0 assistance program if your firm does not conduct R&D that is responsive to at least one of the DOE SBIR/STTR topics/subtopics in the document linked above

As an applicant, I understand that my participation in the Phase 0 Assistance Program does not provide me with preferential treatment from the DOE or other advantages over applicants not participating in the Phase 0 Assistance Program. That is, all applications submitted to a DOE SBIR/STTR Phase I Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) are administratively screened without regard to participation in the Phase 0 program to ensure that the application meets the FOA requirements and evaluated on a competitive basis against other applicants within the same technical program area.

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