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Additional Resources for Small Businesses

Potential Research Funding Opportunities Outside of SBIR

For those seeking funding outside of U.S. DOT’s Small Business Innovation Research program, the below programs offer potential research funding opportunities. To learn about completed or existing research, visit the U.S. DOT Research Hub and the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Research in Progress (RiP) Database.

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Programs Available to Companies

Companies are eligible to apply to the following programs and may also be eligible to partner with a public agency or academic institution on these programs.

Program Description Sponsor
Cooperative Research Programs

Cooperative Research Programs are contract research programs focused on developing “near-term, practical solutions” to problems faced by the transportation industry. The Highway, Transit, Airport, and Behavioral Traffic Safety Cooperative Research Programs regularly advertise for competitive proposals by releasing detailed project statements (i.e., requests for proposals).

Transportation Research Board
Exploratory Advanced Research Program

The Exploratory Advanced Research Program offers funding in specified focus areas for longer-term, high-risk, high-reward research with the potential for transformational improvements to plan, build, renew, and operate safe, congestion free, and environmentally sound transportation systems.

Federal Highway Administration
Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) Programs

Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) consists of three programs focused on early-stage, high-risk, high pay-off, investigator-led research in highways, transit, and railroad safety and performance. IDEA programs provide start-up funding for promising, but unproven, innovations in surface transportation systems.

Transportation Research Board

Programs in Which Companies Can Serve as Partners

For the programs listed below, although companies are not eligible to apply directly for funding, companies may be eligible to partner with a public agency or academic institution.

Program Description Sponsor
Every Day Counts

Every Day Counts: Every 2 years, the Federal Highway Administration, along with stakeholders, selects several proven innovations and promotes their implementation over the next 2 years.

Federal Highway Administration
FAA Air Transportation Centers of Excellence

The FAA Air Transportation Centers of Excellence enable collaboration and coordination between government, academia, and industry to advance aviation technologies and conduct research on a specific FAA mission-critical topic area over a 10-year period.

Federal Aviation Administration
Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance

The Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance program offers funding for research, development, and demonstration of maritime technologies that improve environmental sustainability.

Maritime Administration
Safety Research and Demonstration Program Part of a larger U.S. DOT safety research effort, the Safety Research and Demonstration Program focuses on demonstration of technologies and safer designs in the transit industry. Federal Transit Administration
State Transportation Innovation Councils (STIC) Incentive Program

State Transportation Innovation Councils (STICs) are networks of public and private transportation stakeholders in each state. Through the STIC Incentive Program, each STIC may apply for up to $100,000 of funding per year for an innovation project.

Federal Highway Administration
Transportation Pooled Fund The Transportation Pooled Fund is a program allowing FHWA, state DOTs, and other organizations to pool funds and resources to study a transportation problem of common interest. Federal Highway Administration
University Transportation Centers DOT invests in the future of transportation through its University Transportation Centers Program, which awards and administers grants to consortia of colleges and universities across the United States that collaborate as a center of excellence on a specific transportation research area. U.S. DOT Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

The above list of programs is subject to change.

Other Resources

Visit the linked pages below to learn about other programs, resources, and organizations that may be helpful as you pursue future transportation research opportunities.

DOT Resources

Screenshot of the home page of the DOT Navigator, showing menu options that help users apply for DOT grants, find technical assistance resources, and learn about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The DOT Navigator is a new resource for grant applicants and awardees.

Federal Resources for Small Businesses

Professional Associations

Minority Associations and Resources

Cybersecurity Resources

SBIR: America's Seed Fund. Powered by the Department of Transportation.