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SBIR/STTR Phase I and Phase II applicants can request additional funding within their applications for technical and business assistance (TABA), which includes services like intellectual property support, customer discovery, market assessment, development of business strategies and manufacturing plans.

TABA is made available to awardees as a result of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019. The legislation permits awardees to enter into agreements with one or more providers for TABA services.

TABA funds may not be used for research and development (R&D) activities that are otherwise supported by the grant funds.

Phase I

Phase I applicants can request up to an additional $6,500 for TABA services. Phase I grant recipients have two options for receiving TABA:

  1. Utilize services from the Larta Institute, USDA’s provider.
  2. Identify their own TABA provider(s) in their application. This can be a TABA organization or the SBC (small business concern) can put together their own TABA.

If you wish to receive TABA from the USDA-funded Larta Institute, you do not need to include this expense in your budget. If you are awarded a Phase I grant, you will receive notification from USDA and follow-up contact from Larta on what services are available to you and how to obtain these services at no cost to your small business.

If you wish to utilize your own TABA provider(s), you are required to include this as "Other Direct Costs" in your budget. You must also provide a detailed budget justification and include a signed letter of commitment from each provider.

Phase II

Phase II applicants can request up to $50,000 for TABA services. USDA does not have a Phase II TABA provider.

Phase II grant applicants must select their own TABA provider and include as part of their application the requested TABA amount in their budget as “Other Direct Costs,” along with a detailed budget justification, signed letter of commitment from the provider and a TABA Plan.

For Phase II, TABA cannot be added after application submission.

Other TABA Considerations

Electing to use TABA will not take away from a company’s R&D budget. Rather, it is in addition to the USDA SBIR/STTR grant and can only be used for TABA services.

The selected TABA provider may not be the requesting small business nor an affiliate or investor of the requesting small business. A subcontractor or consultant of the requesting small business otherwise required as part of the paid portion of the research effort also may not be selected as a TABA provider.

Max TABA Budgets

Phase I

Available TABA funds: $6,500

Vendor Options Include Costs in Budget Maximum Budget
USDA Provider No $175,000 (most topic areas) and $125,000 (topic areas 8.6 and 8.12)
Company Preferred Provider Yes* $181,500 (most topic areas) and $131,500 (topic areas 8.6 and 8.12)

Phase II

Available TABA funds: $50,000

Vendor Options Include Costs in Budget Maximum Budget
Company Preferred Provider ONLY Yes* $650,000

*Costs must be reflected in the funds requested on the SF-424 and on the budget documents at time of application.

For questions on TABA, contact sbir@usda.gov.

 

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