Partnering Resources

Partners play a critical role in transitioning advanced technologies from SBIR/STTR funded programs to the commercial market.  Throughout technology development and productization you will engage with a myriad of partners filling many different roles and providing many different capabilities.  The type of partners needed will vary as you move along the development path.  


Ideas [more]
You have a good idea that matches well with a DOE topic, but you need to add team members to complete your Phase I application. They might participate as consultants or subcontractors providing additional for-fee support during Phase I as you work to see if your idea is feasible.  Or perhaps you need to speak to a subject matter expert (SME) to get feedback on the feasibility of your technical objectives or to add critical technical expertise to strengthen your team.
Proof of Concept [more]

You received a Phase I and you’re preparing your Phase II application.  As you move from Phase I into Phase II, your partnering needs will begin to change from being technology driven toward being product driven.  You might be looking for help to assess the opportunity (business services/TABA providers), beta sites and/or potential customers, engineering support, strategic partners to strengthen your business development team, etc.

You are also looking for letters of support to include with your Phase II application.  In beginning this search, start with the stakeholders you interviewed when doing your customer discovery.  This is a great time to reconnect with them to let them know how the technology has been developing since you last spoke with them and/or to let them know that you listened to them and are working on a solution to address their needs – that you’d love to catch up to get their feedback on it.

Development/Prototype/Testing [more]

You received a Phase II and you are steadily working toward prototype development and getting your MVP (minimal viable product) in front of potential customers.  You need help translating your benchtop prototype into a ruggedized, shippable product; you need certifications; you need packaging; you need manuals and product spec sheets.  You need a professionally designed website – you only get one chance to make a first impression – make sure it is a good one.  You need strategic partners to support your business strategy: licensing to an established partner; distribution and sales support; manufacturing.  You need funding to make your dreams a reality – SBIR/STTR funds can’t support it all albeit there are opportunities for sequential Phase II awards [Phase IIA, Phase IIB and Phase IIC – see the Funding Opportunity Announcement for more details].  You need help perfecting your pitch and getting in front the of right audience.


Coming in July 2022 – DOE SBIR/STTR Partnering Website

Our Tech to Market (T2M) Advisor, Carol Rabke, joined the SBIR/STTR programs office in July 2021 after working more than 20 years in the SBIR/STTR community.  In this new role, she is focused on providing resources to help DOE SBIR/STTR awardees and applicants build the necessary relationships at each step of the development path.

Look for an SBIR/STTR partnering website for DOE applicants and awardees to be unveiled in July 2022.  

In the interim, reach out to Carol to discuss specific partnering needs. View recent inquiries on the SBIR/STTR partnering blog.


Interested in Partnering with a National Lab?

The Lab Partnering Service is a service of the DOE Energy Investor Center. The service provides investors, and other parties looking to advance energy innovation, a single location to connect with leading DOE national laboratory technical experts to quickly answer innovation questions, as well as discover opportunities for building partnerships. Our goal is to increase access to the information needed to make informed decisions. The site is easily searchable by key word, industry, and technology areas. Learn more.

National Labs, Profiles, and Contacts

The DOE National Labs address large scale, complex research and development challenges with a multidisciplinary approach that places an emphasis on translating basic science to innovation. To learn more about these world-class facilities or to explore collaborative SBIR/STTR opportunities, please contact the facility point of contact listed below.


Need Manufacturing Assistance?

The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) is based at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The MEP National Network is comprised of 51 MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, the MEP Advisory Board, MEP Center boards, and the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence, as well as 1,400+ advisors and experts at approximately 450 MEP service locations, providing any small U.S. manufacturer with access to resources they need to succeed.  Find an MEP center located near you.

While the MEP network provides resources for traditional manufacturing, Manufacturing USA combines industry, academia, and federal partners into a network of sixteen (16) institutes, each with its own unique technological concentration.  These institutes make available state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for small businesses looking to accelerate advanced manufacturing. Find the Right Manufacturing USA Institute for you