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USDA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs offer competitively awarded grants to qualified small businesses to support high quality research related to important scientific problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefits.

The USDA SBIR/STTR programs seek to:

  • stimulate technological innovation in the private sector
  • strengthen the role of small businesses in meeting federal research and development needs
  • increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from USDA-supported research and development efforts
  • foster and encourage participation by women-owned and socially and economically disadvantaged small business firms in technological innovations

The USDA SBIR/STTR programs recognize that small business is often the driver of innovation as well as industry and sector disruption. In this spirit, we welcome high risk-high reward proposals.

The USDA SBIR/STTR program office directs all activities required under the SBIR law and executes the policy established by the Small Business Administration. USDA SBIR/STTR programs are administered exclusively by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).

SBIR/STTR program awards are based on the scientific and technical merit of investigator-initiated ideas. The programs do not make loans and do not award grants for the purpose of helping a business get established.

Funding Amounts

SBIR/STTR program funds are allocated in proportion to the number of proposals received over 10 broad topic areas. Proposals are reviewed through a confidential peer review process using outside experts from nonprofit organizations. All applicants receive verbatim copies of reviews.

SBIR/STTR Phase I

Grants are limited to $175,000 for all topic areas except 8.6 and 8.12, where the grants are limited to $125,000. Project duration is 8 months for SBIR and 12 months for STTR. Phase I is open to any small business concern that meets the SBIR/STTR eligibility requirements.

Support for Technical and Business Assistance (TABA): Phase I applicants are eligible to receive up to $6,500 in TABA funds.

SBIR/STTR Phase II

Grants are limited to $600,000 and duration is 24 months. Phase II awards are only open to previous Phase I awardees.

Support for Technical and Business Assistance (TABA): Phase II applicants are eligible to receive up to $50,000 in TABA funds.

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