Exo-Planets search and characterization has been the science case driving the SHARK-NIR design, which is one of the two coronagraphic instruments proposed for the Large Binocular Telescope. In fact, together with SHARK-VIS (working in the visible domain), it will offer the possibility to do binocular observations combining direct imaging, coronagraphic imaging and coronagraphic low resolution spectroscopy in a wide wavelength domain, going from 0.5μm to 1.7μm. Additionally, the contemporary usage of LMIRCam, the coronagraphic LBTI NIR camera, working from K to L band, will extend even more the covered wavelength range. The instrument has been designed with two intermediate pupil planes and three focal planes, in order to give the possibility to implement a certain number of coronagraphic techniques, with the purpose to select a few of them matching as much as possible the requirements of the different science cases in terms of contrast at various distances from the star and in term of required field of view. SHARK-NIR has been approved by the LBT board in June 2017, and the procurement phase started just after. We report here about the project status, which is currently at the beginning of the AIV phase at INAF-Padova, and should last about one year. Even if exo-planets is the main science case, the SOUL upgrade of the LBT AO will increase the instrument performance in the faint end regime, allowing to do galactic (jets and disks) and extra-galactic (AGN and QSO) science on a relatively wide sample of targets, normally not reachable in other similar facilities.