SBIR@Connect: Navy Primer

Jul 23, 2021

Starting the journey to work with the government can initially seem overwhelming and confusing, but SBIR@Connect is here to help. Below are some helpful tips to understanding the Navy domain.

Tip 1 – Understand Function and Relevance

The Department of Navy (DoN) is one of the three military departments under the Department of Defense (DoD). Supporting the DoN are a set of commands called systems commands (or SYSCOMs). SYSCOMs are responsible to design, construct, and maintain military systems, including ships, aircrafts, facilities and weapons. Each SYSCOM supports one category of these systems for a full life-cycle (research and development, design, procurement, testing, repair, and in-service engineering and logistics support). 

Navy SYSCOMs are entities that hold SBIR/STTR funding, and are the entities that you will be working with should you participate in the Navy SBIR/STTR program. SBIR@Connect is closely associated with one Navy SYSCOM, the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWAR), though still connected with the other Navy SYSCOMs.

Tip 2 – Understanding SYSCOMs

Below is a listing of all Navy SYSCOMs along with the category of military systems they support:

      1. NAVAIR (Naval Air Systems Command) Naval Aircraft
      2. NAVSEA (Naval Sea Systems Command)Ships and Submarines
      3. NAVSUP (Naval Supplies Systems Command)Supply Chain Management 
      4. NAVFAC (Naval Facilities Engineering Service Command) Facilities and Expeditionary
      5. MCSC (Marine Corps Systems Command) – Specific Equipment for the Marine Corps 
      6. NAVWAR (Naval Information Warfare Systems Command)Information Technology 

ONR (Office of Naval Research) and SSP (Strategic Systems Program Office) are grouped with the SYSCOMs above and hold SBIR/STTR funding but are not considered SYSCOMs. Click on each entity to learn more. 

Some of the SYSCOMs contain “warfare centers”. These serve as the arms for research, development, testing and evaluation. For NAVWAR, Naval Information Warfare Center (located primarily in San Diego, CA, and Charleston, SC) serve as the warfare center to the NAVWAR SYSCOM.

Tip 3 – Understanding PEOs

NAVWAR, along with its sister SYSCOMs, support one or more organizations known as Program Executive Offices (PEOs). Affiliated PEOs for NAVWAR include: 

      1. PEO C4I, Program Executive Office for Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence 
      2. PEO SS, Program Executive Office for Space Systems 
      3. PEO Digital, Program Executive Office Digital and Enterprise Services
      4. PEO MLB, Program Executive Office Manpower, Logistics and Business Solutions 

Each of these PEOs supports one facet of NAVWAR’s overall responsibility of information technology systems, and are further broken down into program offices (or PMWs). For a list of some of the PMWs, please visit our Agency Resources page here.

These PEOs (and PMWs under them) enable our sea and shore platforms and installations to operate effectively and efficiently in cyberspace. The systems developed by the PEOs and PMWs under NAVWAR must meet performance requirements with respect to capacity, security, and reliability, but also be affordable and on schedule for delivery to the Fleet. 


Tip 4 – Take the First Step

If your technology is aligned to any of the entities listed above and/or would like to connect, please reach out to us at It’s helpful to indicate which PEO or PMW is a good fit and why, and we’ll do our best to connect you to the right point of contact (POC).


Through this partnership, Connect has created the SBIR@Connect program. SBIR@Connect aims to better service those interested in participating or collaborating with the government, specifically with the Navy’s Small Business Research Innovation and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Program, by providing services such as office hours, workshops, and tutorial videos. The mission of this program is to foster relationships, and make conversations between government, industry and academia more accessible. 

SBIR@Connect Office Hours

Upcoming Sessions:

SBIR@Connect Office Hours

Innovators — bring your questions about the Navy program