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Tibbetts Awards and Hall of Fame

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Recognizing Excellence

Every year, hundreds of companies participate in the SBIR program. Of those, some stand out as representative of the spirit and intent of the program. Each year the SBA recognizes those companies with the Tibbetts Award. Those firms that continue this excellence year after year are recognized with the SBIR Hall of Fame award.

SBIR Hall of Fame

Begun in 2011, the SBIR Hall of Fame Awards honor those small firms judged to exemplify notable lifetime achievement in innovation research and that have achieved extraordinary success as a result of the SBIR program.

Tibbetts Awards

Named after Roland Tibbetts, the acknowledged father of the SBIR program, the prestigious Tibbetts Awards recognize those individuals, organizations, firms or projects that made a visible technological impact on the socio-economic front and exemplify the very best in SBIR achievements.  Award winners are selected based on the economic impact of their technological innovation, and the extent to which that innovation served federal R&D needs, encouraged diverse participation, and increased the commercialization of federal research.

The Awards are presented to companies that promote the mission and goals of the SBIR program:

  • To stimulate technological innovation
  • To use small business to meet federal research and development needs
  • To encourage diverse participation in technological innovation
  • To increase commercialization of federal research

Roland Tibbetts & SBIR

The founder of the SBIR program, Roland Tibbetts is an active champion of the SBIR cause. He piloted the program and then served as the SBIR Program Manager at National Science Foundation from 1976-1996. Roland Tibbetts has authored several white papers on the SBIR program and the crucial role it plays in supporting high-tech innovation.

Tibbetts Award Eligibility

Tibbetts Awards are given to businesses that have participated in the SBIR Phase I and II award programs and to individuals who have not received assistance but supported the SBIR program. Anyone can nominate a company or individual for the Tibbetts Award. Self-nominations are accepted.

1. SBIR/STTR Participant Eligibility

Companies are evaluated on the basis of technical innovation, business impact, and broader social and economic benefit. To be eligible for consideration, nominees must

  • Bear principal responsibility for a small business that received an SBIR or STTR Phase I and II award .A team who jointly own and operates the business so long as the team size does not exceed four members
  • Reside in the United States or its territories
  • Agree to background checks
  • Comply with federal civil rights laws
  • Nominees may not have received a Tibbetts Award in the prior year

2. Individual Contributor Eligibility

Individuals are evaluated on the basis of unique, long-term service, creation and/or initiation of new programs, and advocacy of SBIR. To be eligible for consideration, nominees must:

  • Actively support the SBIR program
  • Not be registered lobbyists
  • Reside in the United States or its territories
  • Agree to background checks
  • Nominees may not have received a Tibbetts Award in the prior year

Selection Process

All Tibbetts Award winners will be selected by the SBA based on the recommendations of a panel of judges. A maximum of 60 awards may be given to eligible Tibbetts Awards nominees.

Recent Awards

Awards Ceremonies

2011 SBIR Hall of Fame and Tibbetts Awards Ceremony:
The national ceremony to recognize recipients of the Tibbetts Awards and Hall of Fame Awards was held in Washington, DC, on February 15, 2011.

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Tibbetts Awards & SBIR Hall Of Fame