According to a recent press release, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) will grant support for the Phase II program of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR). “The SBIR program was established under the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982 to address scientific problems and create opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefits. Additionally, the program stimulates technological innovations in the private sector and strengthens the role of federal research and development in support of small businesses.”

The application deadline for the SBIR is March 8, 2018 at 5pm EST.

The SBIR program is carried out in three separate phases. Phase I determines the scientific or technical feasibility of ideas submitted by applicants on research topic areas solicited. Phase II require a more comprehensive application, outlining the proposed effort in further detail. Phase III’s focus is to stimulate technological innovation and return on investment from research carried out in Phases I and II.

This is an excellent opportunity for small businesses in the food and agriculture industries to start the new year.  Each year, Federal agencies are required to allocate 3.2% of their research and development (R&D) budgets that exceed $100 million to support opportunities for small businesses.  While extremely competitive, this is a great way for small firms to gain contracts with the government for innovative products.

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