Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)

SBIR is a mechanism, which enables public sector bodies to connect with innovative ideas and technology businesses, to provide innovative solutions for specific public sector challenges and needs.

SBIR falls under the category of pre-commercial procurement (PCP). PCP as defined by the European Union, involves the purchase of research by a Government entity, which is undertaken with the objective of stimulating innovation that the contracting authority or some other party may benefit from at a later stage, when goods or services are not currently available or developed from the outcomes of the research.

What is SBIR Ireland?

Cork County Council & Enterprise Ireland

Small Business Innovation Research SBIR Ireland

SBIR Ireland's impact on Irish SMEs

Wayfinding SBIR Challenge

Illegal Dumping SBIR Challenge

Gully Monitoring SBIR Challenge 

Smart Dublin Challenges

SBIR Ireland and Smart Dublin Cycling Challenge

SBIR Ireland

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Ireland is the national innovation pre-commercial procurement initiative administered by Enterprise Ireland.  SBIR Ireland’s aim is to drive innovation across all sections of the Irish Public Sector via robust engagement with technology rich companies and organisations, through competitive challenges. SBIR itself is underpinned by a sharing of both risks and benefits between Contracting Organisations and Suppliers.

Enterprise Ireland has established a dedicated fund to co-support innovative and competitive Challenges in partnership with Irish Contracting Authorities.

Through SBIR, the Public sector can:

  • Identify innovative solutions by reaching out to organisations from different sectors including small and emerging businesses.
  • Create new technical solutions through accelerated technology development, whilst risk is reduced through a phased development programme.
  • Provide applicants with a transparent, competitive and reliable source of early-stage funding.

Through SBIR, SMEs can:

  • Compete for each demand driven project in a transparent manner.
  • Demonstrate a route to market for their solution (SBIR is particularly suited to small and medium-sized business, as contracts are of relatively low value and operate in short timescales).
  • Focus on specific identified needs, increasing the chance of exploitation as developments are 100% funded – it is not a government grant.
  • Retain the intellectual property generated from the project (with certain rights of use retained by the contracting department).


SBIR Ireland Challenges

In 2018, 11 new SBIR Challenges launched on eTenders seeking innovative solutions:

OrganisationSBIR Challenge
Health Service Executive (live on eTenders until 22nd February 2019)Addressing health complications that arise as a result of diabetes
Department of Public Expenditure & ReformAssisted Digital for eGovernment Services
Cork City CouncilEnhancing Cleanliness of Cork City through Graffiti Removal
Office of Public WorksDevelop Intelligent Virtual Historic Dublin
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (Smart Dublin) & Waterford CouncilBathing Water Quality Identification and Communication
Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (Smart Dublin)Facilitating Connections over Internet of Things
Clare County CouncilCommunity Driven Solution to Improve Rural Transport
Fingal County Council (Smart Dublin) & Cork City CouncilSmart Solutions to Engage Unheard Voices in Communities
Dublin City Council (Smart Dublin)Sustainable Transport: Improving Mobility in the City
Dublin City Council (Smart Dublin) & Belfast City CouncilSustainable Deliveries: Redesigning the Delivery of Goods in Cities
Limerick CouncilLiveability Improvement and Regeneration in Georgian Quarter 


Previous SBIR Challenges

In 2017, SBIR Ireland launched a number of Challenges with Irish Public Sector bodies: 





If you are an SME or an Irish Contracting Authority and would like further information on current or upcoming SBIR Ireland Competitions, please contact:

Paul Maguire

SBIR Manager

Enterprise Ireland

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