Nominations are now being accepted to recognize small businesses who have played a critical role in federally funded research and development through the U.S. Small Business Administrations Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

The deadline to submit a nomination is 5 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) Jan. 31, and awards will presented in Washington, DC. in April.

Called the Tibbetts Awards, after the man instrumental in developing the SBIR, the honors will recognize companies and individuals that are beacons of promise and models of excellence in high technology.

The SBIR and STTR programs currently account for more than $2.5 billion a year in federal research and development funds and are coordinated by the SBA in cooperation with 11 federal agencies.

SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in federal research/research and development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization through a competitive awards-based program.

STTR requires small businesses to formally collaborate with a research institution to work on the process of commercializing a technology idea or process.

To submit a nomination, visit the website www.tibbetts.challenge.gov.