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.
Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the Phase I and Phase II RFAs to gain a better understanding of the SBIR/STTR programs. [Please note, although application periods for the RFAs may be closed, the documents are still accessible for viewing and planning purposes]
- Phase I Grants in 2022 were limited to $175,000 for all topic areas except 8.6 and 8.12, where the grants are limited to $125,000. The 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. Phase I RFAs are generally released every year in July, with due dates in October. [Please note these amounts and timelines are subject to change for 2023]
- Phase II Grants are limited to $600,000, and the 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. Phase II RFAs are generally released every year in December, with due dates in February. [Please note these amounts and timelines are subject to change for 2023]
SBIR 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 copies of reviews.
Participation by university faculty or government scientists in SBIR projects is strongly encouraged. They can serve as consultants or can receive a subcontract (in both cases, limited to no more than 1/3 of the Phase I award or 1/2 of the Phase II award) and continue to work full-time at their institution. University faculty or government scientists can also serve as PI if they reduce employment at their institution to 49 percent for the grant duration.
While this opportunity is indeed exciting, it can also be incredibly intimidating. There are many requirements to be aware of, from required federal registrations to documentation and formatting regulations. Project and process management, timeline management, and proposal preparation can be overwhelming, especially to founders and small business owners who are often already stretching themselves thin to keep company operations properly managed. Fortunately, a little help can go a long way in making the proposal preparation and submission process manageable.
Our team will ensure that you are on the path to SBIR Phase II success by meeting deadlines, completing proposal documents properly, and sharing our vast repository of industry knowledge and subject matter expertise.
It is never too early to start preparing a competitive proposal. If you think you could be a fit for the Department of Agriculture SBIR next year, schedule a consult call today.
We work with high-growth startups and organizations that support the startup and innovation ecosystem. We build highly specific non-dilutive funding menus, provide proposal preparation services, and measure outcomes of funding through evaluation. Schedule a consult call with us HERE.