Funding Available for Small Business Innovation & Technology Transfer

USDA is offering a combined $15.5 million to help small businesses transform scientific discovery into products and services with commercial potential and societal benefit. The USDA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs support small businesses in the creation of innovative, disruptive technologies and enable the application of research advancements from conception into the market. Further, the objective of the STTR program specifically is to stimulate formal cooperative partnerships of ideas and technologies between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions (e.g., Universities, Federal Laboratories).

Phase I applications are due September 17, 2024. USDA expects to offer $13 million for SBIR and $2.5 million for STTR in awards of $125,000 to $181,500.

What are the programs’ purpose and priorities?

The aim of a Phase I project should be to demonstrate technical feasibility of the proposed innovation and thereby bring the innovation closer to commercialization. Proposals should describe the development of an innovation that demonstrates the following characteristics:

  1. Involves a high degree of technical risk – for example, has never been attempted and/or successfully achieved and is still facing technical hurdles that the USDA-funded research and development (R&D) work is intended to overcome.
  2. Has the potential for significant commercial impact and/or societal benefit, as evidenced by having the potential to disrupt the targeted market segment; having good product- market fit (as validated by customers); removing barriers to entry for competition; offering potential for societal benefit (through commercialization under a sustainable business model).
  3. Phase I awards may not exceed the listed maximum award amount for each topic area (listed below) for a period normally not to exceed eight (8) months for SBIR and twelve (12) months for STTR.
  4. The Phase I application should concentrate on research that will significantly contribute to proving the scientific or technical feasibility of the approach or concept, describe the potential market for the innovation and will be a prerequisite to further USDA SBIR/STTR support in Phase II.

Because the USDA programs currently have no specific procurement focus, the USDA offers ten solicitation topic areas that are intended to permit a broad spectrum of eligible and innovative science- and technology-based small businesses to compete for funding.

How much funding is available?

Out of a total funding pool of $13 million for SBIR and $2.5 million for STTR, USDA expects to award $125,000 to $175,000 to individual projects depending upon topic area listed below, with an additional $6,500 available for projects with Technical and Business Assistance (TABA).

The maximum award amount per topic area and the number of awards USDA anticipates funding is outlined in the table below. 

Topic Area

Maximum Award Amount

Anticipated Number of Awards

Forests and Related Resources

$175,000

6

Plant Production and Protection (Biology)

$175,000

7

Animal Production and Protection

$175,000

7

Conservation of Natural Resources

$175,000

9

Food Science and Nutrition

$175,000

11

Rural and Community Development

$125,000

9

Aquaculture

$175,000

6

Biofuels and Biobased Products

$175,000

7

Small and Mid-size Farms

$125,000

10

Plant Production and Protection (Engineering)

$175,000

10

 

Does this funding require a match?

No, the SBIR/STTR Phase I has no matching requirement.

The Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs Request for Applications (RFA) can be found here.

For more information on this grant or how to apply with Morrison’s assistance, please contact the Morrison Grants Team by email at grants@morrisonco.net or call us at 530-893-4764.

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