Department of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security


The DHS in one of the twelve federal departments that participates in the SBIR program.

Under the program, DHS focuses on innovations that supports solving challenges to security solutions and critical infrastructure protection and monitoring. Annually, DHS topics are relevant to the following Science and Technology (S&T) Directorates of Borders and Maritime Security, Chemical/Biological Defense, Cyber Security, Explosives, and the First Responder Group.

Mechanics of the Program

Under the SBIR program, DHS will fund Phase I projects that are designed to determine the scientific feasibility of ideas with commercial potential. Phase I funding is limited to $150,000 for 6 months of work, and if the project is successful, you can apply for Phase II funding. Phase II project funding is limited to $750,000 for 24 months of work, and is largely designed to take the results of the Phase I and create a prototype project.

DHS also has a portal for recommending a topic area. If a small businesses is working on an idea that is germane to the DHS mission, and is not included in their current (or latest) round of topic areas, one can fill out an online form about the idea and why it aligns with DHS priorities. If the proposed research area is relevant to DHS and its mission, there is a critical agency requirement, and the research is unique, then the topic might be selected for inclusion in the next solicitation.

Additionally, DHS allows for technical questions to be submitted for a short period between solicitation opening and closing. As the actual dates will be determined at the time of solicitation issue, offerors should pay close attention to this annually updated information. DHS treats all questions as non-proprietary, so please be aware that all questions and answers will be posted on the U.S. DHS SBIR Program website continually throughout the solicitation’s open period. This means that all questions will be “public knowledge”, so ensure you do not include non-publicly available information in your question.



DHS carries no additional requirements for SBIR eligibility beyond the SBA requirements. To submit a proposal package though, small businesses must register with the DHS SBIR Program Portal: You can find out more about this process via our YouTube video on registration requirements.

Additional Funding

Under the SBIR program, DHS has a Phase II Enhancement Program that offers a cost match feature to secure additional funding. In order to be considered for DHS SBIR cost

match, an outside investor or investors must commit a minimum of $100,000 to the continued development of the project. DHS will, at its discretion and subject to availability of funds, match up to 50% of funds received, for a maximum DHS SBIR contribution of $250,000. The additional work proposed for the Cost Match feature should be an expansion of the technical work being performed in the Phase II project and must fall within the general scope of the present Phase II project.

However, awardees are always encouraged to seek other funding mechanisms to transition their work into a Phase III.



For a full listing of agency resources and NM FAST resources, relevant to an SBIR submission to DHS, please visit this link: