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Small business innovation research grants

If you want your small business to be eligible to receive a small business innovative research grant you have to do one of two things.

1. You have to show quality, advanced concept research that relates specifically to a scientific problem and provides solutions to it.
2. You have to show quality, advanced concept research that opens opportunities in the agricultural world, and that could benefit the public if the theories prove successful.

Small business innovative research grants are part of the USDA. They are an incentive to help the community, science, and agricultural understanding and research improve by getting private sector businesses involved. These grants encourage the private sector businesses to seek out technological innovations, and foster the commercialization of such innovations from USBA-supported research. In other words, it encourages private sector businesses to fill the role of meeting Federal research and development needs.

Small business innovative research grants are available to all, but the USDA and SBA encourage women-owned, minority, and economically disadvantaged small businesses to apply. To apply a business must submit a proposal for an innovation or idea that fits into one of ten topic areas. The proposal must relate to a scientific problem and propose a beneficial solution, or open new opportunities in the agricultural world.

Once an application is received, the proposal is peer reviewed. These are unbiased, third party peers that are qualified in the topic area. They review the proposal and evaluate it, and the applicant gets a copy of their review or evaluation. The reviewers judge the applications based on the scientific and technical merit of the ideas, and award the small business innovative research grants to the businesses that most deserve the funding. The program is run by the SBIR and USDA, and is regulated by the SBA. These are not loans, but rather grants that help businesses to get established, and further their research and development.

The grant is given in two phases, and not everyone gets funding in both phases:

The first phase, or Phase I of the grant maxes out at $100,000. The recipient has 8 months of times, and can use the funding for any small business concern that meets the SBIR eligibility requirements. This is regulated by the SBA. Because many of the applicants are university faculty who need money for research and development, the grant can be modified. A government scientist of university faculty member may retain their regular job and salary, and receive 1/3 of the grant amount.

The second phase, or Phase II grants are for significantly more, maxing out at $500,000. They have a 24 month duration, but can only be received if a Phase I grant was awarded. Again, if government scientists or university faculty members are awarded this grant, and which to retain their current job and salary, they will receive ½ of the awarded amount.

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