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
- 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
- SBIR Tutorial: Fraud, Waste, and Abuse
- Additional Actions Needed to Implement Fraud, Waste, and Abuse Prevention Requirements GAO-17-337
- Vulnerabilities in the HHS Small Business Innovation Research Program (OEI-04-11-00530)
- Rules for HHS Contractors: Podcast | Video
- Rules for HHS Grantees: Podcast | Video
- Rules for HHS Grant Officers: Podcast | Video
- Understanding Fraud in HHS Grants and Contracts: Podcast | Video
Who to Contact
Suspect SBIR Fraud? Contact the OIG's fraud hotline.
Phone: 1-800-447-8477 (1-800-HHS-TIPS)
TTY: 1-800-377-4950 | Fax: 1-800-223-8164
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