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Technical and Business Assistance (TABA)

As part of The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019, SBIR awardees can request additional funding for Technical and Business Assistance (TABA). Awardees are permitted to enter into agreements with one or more vendors to provide TABA services including but not limited to: Intellectual Property (IP) support, customer discovery, market assessment, business strategies, manufacturing plan development. TABA funds may not be used for research and development (R&D) activities that are otherwise supported by the grant funds.

Applicants can request up to an additional $6,500 for Phase I and up to $50,000 for Phase II for TABA services. Phase I grant recipients have two options for receiving TABA: (1) utilize services provided by a USDA vendor or (2) identify their own TABA provider. If you wish to receive TABA from a USDA-funded vendor, 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 the USDA-funded vendor 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, you are required to include this as "Other Direct Costs" in your budget, provide a detailed budget justification, and a signed letter of commitment from the provider. Phase II grant recipients must select their own TABA vendor and include the requested TABA amount in their budget as “Other Direct Costs”, along with providing a detailed budget justification and signed letter of commitment from the vendor. Note that the TABA vendor may not be the requesting firm, an affiliate of the requesting firm, an investor of the requesting firm, or a subcontractor or consultant of the requesting firm otherwise required as part of the paid portion of the research effort.

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

Max Budget

  TABA Funds Vendor Options Include costs in budget?
Phase I $6,500
  1. USDA vendor
  2. Company preferred vendor
  1. No
  2. Yes*
  1. $131,500 (Topic areas 8.6 and 8.12)
  2. $181,500 (Topic areas 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.7, 8.8, 8.13)
Phase II $50,000
  1. Company preferred vendor ONLY
  1. Yes*
  1. $650,000
*Costs must be reflected in the funds requested on the SF-424 and on the budget documents at time of application

USDA’s TABA vendor for Phase I is LARTA Institute. You can learn more about LARTA here:

For questions regarding TABA, please contact
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