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  • 2019

SBIR and STTR AwardsTampa Bay


The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant programs were established to better integrate and strengthen the role of innovative small businesses in federally funded research and development efforts. The U.S. Small Business Administration serves as the coordinating agency for the program. 


  • Orlando outpaces its fellow Florida communities in the value both total and proportionate of SBIR/STTR awards. 
  • Department of Defense grants account for the majority of grants awarded to the major Florida metro areas over the past five years.  
  • As home to both a major research university and a major military installation, Tampa Bay has the requisite ingredients to move the needle on this indicator, should the community wish to make it priority.  


Tampa Bay performs well below the national average for SBIR/STTR awards per capita of $2.98, ranking 19th at $1.28 and sharing the bottom tier with #18 South Florida ($1.97) and #20 Jacksonville ($.0.50). Orlando ranks #8 in this year’s edition at $6.19. An examination of five years’ worth of SBIR’ worth of SBIR/STTR awards shows that this year was no anomaly. A month the Florida cohort, the Orlando region accounted for 41.9 percent of total awards and 49.8 percent of awarded dollars between 2013 and 2017.  

Awards by Department/Agency

Significant regional variation also exists in the source of grant dollars. In Tampa Bay, the Department of Defense and the Department of Health and Human Services lead in the number of awards, but the value of the Defense grants is roughly 50 percent greater than Health and Human Services. In South Florida, Health and Human Services grants account for the majority of awards in the period of examination. In Jacksonville and Orlando, Department of Defense grants are by far the most common, both in terms of number of magnitude of awards. Throughout the state, department of defense grants accounted for nearly 2/3 of all awards in this most recent five-year period.