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Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Fraud

What is SBIR Fraud?

The Small Business Innovation Research program, or SBIR, was created in 1982 to provide seed money through grants and contracts to domestic start-ups, and small businesses registered with the Small Business Administration's Company Registry, for the development and commercialization of new technologies. HHS is the second largest federal funding agency and uses at least 3.2% of its annual extramural research budget for SBIR awards—primarily through grants to health and life sciences companies. Fraudsters may seek opportunities to misuse SBIR program funds that may otherwise be given to legitimate awardees.

Types of Possible Fraud in SBIR Programs

During Application Process:

  • Submitting a plagiarized proposal
  • Providing false information regarding the company, the Principal Investigator or work to be performed
  • Seeking funding for the work that has already been completed

During Award:

  • Using award funds for personal use or for any use other than the proposed activities
  • Submitting plagiarized reports or reports falsely claiming work has been completed
  • Claiming results for an award that were funded by a different source

Resources

Who to Contact

Suspect SBIR Fraud? Contact the OIG's fraud hotline.
Online: oig.hhs.gov/fraud/hotline
Phone: 1-800-447-8477 (1-800-HHS-TIPS)
TTY: 1-800-377-4950 | Fax: 1-800-223-8164

Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services | 330 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201