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FMCSA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program

Each year, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) allocates a percentage of its extramural research and development funding to small businesses that submit proposals for innovative projects designed to address national transportation challenges. This program—the Small Business Innovation Research Program—encourages small businesses to develop high-tech, innovative transportation solutions that could be commercialized, leading to entrepreneurial growth and economic stimulation. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) participates in the SBIR Program and administers its own SBIR projects through the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe).

What’s the Process for FMCSA’s SBIR Program?

Each year, the USDOT SBIR Program Office publishes one or two solicitations for proposals on a select number of research topics. If you have an idea on research topics and/or technology that needs to be developed to improve CMV safety, please forward to  

Visit the Volpe SBIR homepage to learn about participation criteria, research topics, and submission deadlines. The project selection process is highly competitive, and once selected, projects progress by merit through a three-phased program. Each phase must be successful in order to progress to the next phase.

  • Phase I: Establish technical merit, feasibility, and commercial potential. Phase I projects are relatively short-term, approximately 6 months.
  • Phase II: Continue the work begun in Phase I according to the defined commercial potential. Phase II projects can last 2 years.
  • Phase III: The goal of Phase III is to move toward or obtain commercialization.
For general program inquiries, call the SBIR Hotline at (617) 494-2051 or email


To learn more about FMCSA’s active and recently completed SBIR projects, explore the links below.

Active FMCSA SBIR Projects

Completed FMCSA SBIR Projects