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Grants to USA Small Businesses for Research and Development Projects to Improve the Lives of People with Disabilities

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program, Phase I


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Administration for Community Living (ACL)
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR)
CFDA Number: 93.433
Funding or PIN Number: HHS-2023-ACL-NIDILRR-BISA-0000
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Important Dates
Conference Date: 11/04/22
LOI Date: 11/21/22
Deadline: 12/16/22 11:59 PM ET Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA and territories small businesses for research and development projects to improve the lives of people with disabilities. Applicants are advised that required registrations must be completed before submitting an application. The purpose of the program is to improve the lives of people with disabilities through R/R&D products generated by small businesses and to increase the commercial application of NIDILRR-supported research results and development products.

NIDILRR’s mission is to generate new knowledge and to promote its effective use to improve the abilities of individuals with disabilities to perform activities of their choice in the community and to expand society’s capacity to provide full opportunities and accommodations for its citizens with disabilities. All SBIR projects funded by NIDILRR must address the needs of individuals with disabilities (see 29 U.S.C. 760). An application to NIDILRR’s SBIR program must support this mission and should present a sound approach to the investigation of an important technological, engineering, or scientific question that it is worthy of support under the stated criteria of this program announcement. The applicant should review the program announcement carefully to ensure that information and data essential for evaluation are included. The scientific and technical merit of the proposed research and research and development (R/R&D) is the primary concern for all work supported by NIDILRR.

The Small Business Administration defines the following activities as research or research and development (R/R&D):

  1. A systematic, intensive study directed toward greater knowledge or understanding of the subject studied;
  2. A systematic study directed specifically toward applying new knowledge to meet a recognized need; or
  3. A systematic application of knowledge toward the production of useful materials, devices, and systems or methods, including design, development, and improvement of prototypes and new processes to meet specific requirements.

The application's R/R&D must be responsive to NIDILRR’s SBIR program objectives, and it should also serve as the basis for technological innovation, new commercial products, or processes or services.

The purpose of the Federal SBIR program is to stimulate technological innovation in the private sector and to strengthen the role of small business in meeting Federal research or research and development (R/R&D) needs. The specific purpose of NIDILRR’s SBIR program is to increase the commercial application of research and development results and improve the return on investment from research and development that can be used to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.

An applicant should consult NIDILRR’s Long-Range Plan for Fiscal Years 2018-2023 when preparing its application. The Long-Range Plan is organized around the following outcome domains:

  • Community living and participation;
  • Health and function; and
  • Employment.

For FY2022 Priorities, see p. 5 of the FOA in Attached Files below.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)
  • Small businesses

Additional Eligibility Criteria
Each organization submitting an application must qualify at the time of the award as a small business concern as defined by the Small Business Administration.

SBIR Eligibility Checklist
- For-profit small business concern.
- At least 51% U.S.-owned and independently operated.
- Small business located in the U.S.
- Principal investigator’s primary employment with small business during the project.
- 500 or fewer employees.

For further eligibility details, see p. 11 of the FOA in Attached Files below.

For funding restrictions, see p6. 6 and 24 of the FOA in Attached Files below.

Pre-Proposal Conference
An informational conference call will be held between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on 11/04/2022.

Interested parties are invited to participate in the pre-application meeting to discuss the funding priority and to receive information and technical assistance. You must contact Megan Alvarado in order to participate in this meeting.

NIDILRR staff also will be available to provide information and technical assistance via individual phone consultations from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the date listed above. Requests for individual consultations during this one-hour window must be made in advance to Megan Alvarado.

Pre-Application Information
- Date for Informational Conference Call: 11/04/2022
- Due Date for Letter of Intent: 11/21/2022
- Due Date for Applications: 12/16/2022 by 11:59 PM ET

Applicants are requested, but not required, to submit a letter of intent to apply for this funding opportunity to assist ACL in planning for the application independent review process. The purpose of the letter of intent is to allow our staff to estimate the number of independent reviewers needed and to avoid potential conflicts of interest in the review.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications a minimum of 3-5 days prior to the application closing date. Do not wait until the last day in the event you encounter technical difficulties, either on your end or with, which can take up to 48 hours to notify you of a successful submission.

All applicants to the SBIR and STTR programs are required to register at the SBA Company Registry prior to application submission and attach proof of registration. The SBA Company Registry recommends verification with SAM, but a SAM account is not required to complete the registration.

The registration process can take several days. If your organization is not currently registered, please begin this process immediately.

All applicants must have a UEI and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM, Applicants should allot sufficient time prior to the application deadline to finalize a new, or renew an existing registration.

View this opportunity on

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
- Award Ceiling: $100,000
- Award Floor: $95,000

Term of Contract
Awards are for periods up to six months.

The anticipated project period start date for this announcement is: 06/01/2023

Contact Information
To submit a letter of intent or to register for the pre-application meeting, please email:
Megan Alvarado

Project Officer:
Brian Bard
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research

Grants Management Specialist:
Katherine Feiring
Office of Grants Management
(202) 795-7442

Assistance with

RFP & Supporting Documents
Full Grant Text RFP

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates / changes / addendums / conferences / LOIs.

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