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SBIR/STTR Phase I Matching Program

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)/Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I Matching Program provides up to $50,000 in state matching funds for Illinois-based recipients of federal SBIR/STTR Phase I awards. The goals of this program are to foster job creation and economic development in Illinois and support small businesses as they apply for federal SBIR/STTR Phase II awards.

The federal SBIR and STTR programs are highly competitive programs that encourage domestic small businesses to engage in federal research and development (R&D) with the potential for commercialization. The STTR program also requires small businesses to formally collaborate with a research institution. DCEO’s matching program will help small businesses meet national R&D needs, stimulate high-tech innovation and commercialization by providing small businesses and entrepreneurs with an incentive to start and grow their business in Illinois, and strengthen partnerships between private industry and research institutions. 


  • For-profit businesses based in Illinois (defined as principal place of business in Illinois)
  • Business has received an SBIR/STTR Phase I award from a participating federal agency
  • Phase I award has been awarded within 12 months from the date of application to DCEO
  • Phase I award remains open/active at the time of application to DCEO
  • Phase II application has not yet been submitted to the participating federal agency
  • Business satisfies all federal SBIR/STTR Phase I award requirements

Eligibility Restrictions

  • Businesses may only receive 1 grant per state fiscal year (July 1 – June 30)
  • Businesses may only receive 1 grant with respect to each federal proposal submission
  • Businesses may receive up to 5 awards over the lifetime of the business

Application Process

  • This is not a competitive application – applications will be evaluated based on the eligibility requirements on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • As part of the application, applicants will be required to several certifications including:
    • Business certifies that at least 51% of the research described in the federal SBIR/STTR Phase II proposal associated with its award will be conducted in Illinois, if awarded
    • Business certifies that it will remain an Illinois-based business for the duration of the SBIR/STTR Phase II project associated with its Phase I award, if awarded
    • Business certifies that it is not receiving concurrent funding support from other sources that duplicate the purpose of this program

Award Process

  • Award recipients may receive 75% of their award (up to $37,500) upon approval of their application to DCEO
  • Award recipients are eligible to receive the remaining 25% of their award (typically $12,500) after all program requirements have been satisfied, including:
    • Compliance with all federal SBIR/STTR requirements
    • Submission of an interim or final Phase I report to the federal sponsoring agency
    • Demonstrated interest from the federal sponsoring agency in the Phase II proposal
    • Submission of the Phase II proposal to the federal sponsoring agency
    • Demonstration of the ability to conduct the research proposed in the applicant’s Phase II proposal (e.g., labor, funding, space, equipment, other resources, etc.)


DCEO will require grantees to report their progress toward applying for the federal SBIR/STTR phase II grant, the specific technical advancements rendered as a result of this funding, and data on performance measures that align with the Governor’s Economic Development Plan:

  • Patents – the number of patents associated with or projected to be associated with activities conducted using this award
  • R&D expenditures – R&D spending conducted associated with the award activities, including R&D expenditures from this award and any other related R&D spending, such as from other federal or private sources
  • Investment – the amount of private capital invested in the business while conducting activities using this award
  • Job Retainment & Growth – jobs created or retained while conducting activities using this award
  • Average Earnings – average earnings of employees including a breakout of any differences in average earnings from jobs created or retained

Current Matching Awards

The following matching awards have been approved by the Director and are in various stages of the grant fulfillment process: 

Approved SBIR/STTR Phase I Matching Awards

Resources and Application

Visit for more information on the federal SBIR and STTR programs.

Review the SBIR/STTR Phase I Matching Program application.


For more information about this program, please contact in DCEO’s Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology (EIT).