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Find out more about how you can determine your eligibility for SBIR/STTR programs. 

How do I determine if I am eligible to apply to the USDA SBIR/STTR Programs?

The eligibility requirements are noted in Part III of the RFA. You can also find more information in this SBIR tutorial.

What is the difference between SBIR and STTR?

Please visit SBIR/STTR: Which is Right for Me? on the NIFA website. You can also review the tutorial SBIR or STTR? Which One Is Right For Me? on the SBA website.

Do I need to apply to qualify as a Small Business Concern (SBC)? If yes, do I need to apply and qualify prior to submitting my SBIR/STTR grant application? How do I obtain an SBC Control Number?

Yes, all applicants need to qualify as an SBC and have an SBC Control number at the time of application submission. The steps to obtain an SBC Control number include:

  1. Register company with, and
  2. Complete the required steps necessary to register on, which includes:
    1. Obtain a UEI number
      1. Register with or complete the annual update if you are already registered. This can take up to 2 weeks with an additional 5 weeks to acquire a UEI (Unique Entity Identifier). The Unique Entity Identifier is the new, 12-digit alphanumeric identifier that will be provided by registration to all entities who register to do business with the federal government (including existing entities). This is the identifier that is replacing DUNS.
    2. Create a username and account (if you already have one, please remember that passwords expire every 60 days. Accounts inactive for one year or more result in removal of all account roles).

Can we use off-the-shelf technologies?

Using “off-the-shelf technologies” in new/novel ways is allowable only for 8.6: Rural and Community Development and/or 8.12: Small and Mid-Sized Farms. Use of off-the-shelf technologies is not allowed for the other eight program/topic areas (8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.7, 8.8, or 8.13).


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