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Various federal, state and local government entities support technology transfer from academic and non-profit research institutions into private businesses.

These entities may do so through technical assistance to establish and enhance small businesses, technology transfer through partnerships between businesses and academic and nonprofit research institution, or helping small businesses apply for funding and technical assistance.

In addition to the resources listed below, you can also find local assistance through the SBIR website.

Applying to SBIR/STTR Funding Opportunities

We recommend that prospective applicants review abstracts of previously funded projects.

If you want to discuss how your innovation might fit into a specific topic area, contact the national program leader associated with your topic area of interest. If you aren’t sure which topic area would fit best with your proposed innovation, contact SBIR National Program Leader David Songstad.

Establishing and enhancing your small business

  • Small Business Development Centers provide management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. The program is a cooperative between the private sector, the educational community and federal, state and local governments. It is an integral component of Entrepreneurial Development's network of training and counseling services.
  • Small Business Administration Offices have business development specialists who provide business counseling and training at low-cost or free in various areas.
  • Manufacturing Extension Partnership is a nationwide network of resources intended to help manufacturers compete globally, support greater supply chain integration, and provide access to technology for improved productivity.

Promoting technology transfer through partnerships between businesses and academic and nonprofit research institutions

  • University Technology Transfer Offices promote, support and improve technology transfer from academic and nonprofit institutions. They often manage and license innovations derived from research at their universities and may be a good source to link small businesses with university faculty.
  • The Cooperative Extension System Offices are a nationwide, noncredit educational network. These offices are staffed by one or more experts who provide useful, practical, and research-based information to agricultural producers, small business owners, youth, consumers, and others in rural areas and communities of all sizes.
  • EPSCoR assists the National Science Foundation in its statutory function "to strengthen research and education in science and engineering throughout the United States and to avoid undue concentration of such research and education." It helps to activate effective jurisdictional and regional collaborations among academic, government and private sector stakeholders that advance scientific research, promote innovation and provide multiple societal benefits. Several federal agencies have similar goals and/or programs.
  • USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Office of Technology Transfer helps transfer ARS-developed technology to the marketplace. ARS continually looks for opportunities to partner with businesses, other federal agencies, state and local governments, and universities. These partnerships are designed to augment research programs, expedite research results to the private sector, exchange information and knowledge, stimulate new business and economic development, enhance U.S. trade, preserve the environment, and improve the quality of life for all Americans.
  • Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) are formal written agreements between one or more federal laboratories and one or more nonfederal parties under which the government, through its laboratories, provides personnel, services, facilities, equipment, intellectual property or other resources. The existence of a CRADA — whether in partnering with a USDA laboratory or licensing a USDA technology — is an additional factor that is considered during application review. Presence of a CRADA is an important consideration when two or more applications are of approximately equal merit.
  • The USDA Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory can help advance small business research by tapping into the expertise of USDA Forest Service research personnel. They promote technology transfer by providing access to their extensive laboratory facilities and equipment and creating opportunities for patent and licensing agreements.
  • The USDA National Agricultural Library’s Technology Transfer Information Center helps innovators find research and patent information; technical assistance; and funding, partnerships, and market information to commercialize new products, processes and services. The center also provides access to the technology transfer literature.
  • The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) provides the forum to develop strategies and opportunities for linking technologies produced at Federal government laboratories with the marketplace.

Applying for funding and technical assistance

  • The SCORE Association “Counselors to America’s Small Business” is an association of volunteer business counselors trained to serve as advisors and mentors to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners and offer free services to local communities.
  • USDA’s Rural Development agency is committed to help improve the economy and quality of life in all of rural America. Rural Development achieves its mission by helping rural individuals, communities and businesses obtain the financial and technical assistance needed to address their diverse and unique needs.


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