Funding Available for Small Business Innovation & Tech. Transfer

USDA is seeking Phase I applications from innovative science- and technology-based small businesses to stimulate technological innovation and increase private sector commercialization. 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. The SBIR program offers 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 STTR program aims to foster technology transfer through formal cooperative R&D between small businesses and nonprofit research institutions.

Phase I applications are due October 6, 2022. USDA expects to offer $13 million for SBIR and $2.5 million for STTR in awards of $125,000 or $175,000 depending upon topic area.


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 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 Program Code 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.

  1. Forests and Related Resources
  2. Plant Production and Protection (Biology)
  3. Animal Production and Protection
  4. Conservation of Natural Resources
  5. Food Science and Nutrition
  6. Rural and Community Development
  7. Aquaculture
  8. Biofuels and Biobased Products
  9. Small and Mid-size Farms
  10. Plant Production and Protection (Engineering)


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 or $175,000 to individual projects depending upon topic area listed above.


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 or call us at 530-893-4764.


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