Solicitation Announcement

SBIR Agency Profile – USDA

To find out more about the U.S. Department of Agriculture SBIR program, please visit the following link.

While submissions for the 2009 solicitation are now closed, we thought it might be helpful to understand a bit more about what the USDA has to offer.

Program Synopsis:

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) makes competitively awarded grants that are to qualified small businesses to support high quality, advanced concepts research related to important scientific problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefit if successful.
The objectives of the SBIR Program are to:

  • stimulate technological innovations in the private sector;
  • strengthen the role of small businesses in meeting Federal research and development needs;
  • increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from USDA-supported research and development efforts; and
  • foster and encourage participation by women-owned and socially and economically disadvantaged small business firms in technological innovations.

The USDA SBIR program office directs all activities required under the SBIR law and executes the policy established by the Small Business Administration. The SBIR program at USDA is administered exclusively by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES). SBIR program awards are based on the scientific and technical merit of investigator initiated ideas. The SBIR Program does not make loans and does not award grants for the purpose of helping a business get established.

SBIR Phase I grants are limited to $80,000 and duration of 8 months and are open to any small business concern that meets the SBIR eligibility requirements. SBIR Phase II grants are limited to $350,000 and duration of 24 months and are only open to previous Phase I awardees. SBIR program funds are allocated in proportion to the number of proposals received over 12 broad topic areas. Proposals are reviewed through a confidential peer review process using outside experts from nonprofit organizations. All applicants receive verbatim 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 a PI if they reduce employment at their institution to 49 percent for the duration of the grant.

USDA SBIR 2009 Information:

See the 2009 USDA SBIR request for applications (RFA) by clicking the RFA link on the table below. Funds may be awarded up to $80,000 for Phase I and up to $350,000 for Phase II. Success rates for applicants have been about 15% for Phase I and 50-60% for Phase II. Projects dealing with agriculturally related manufacturing and alternative and renewable energy technologies are encouraged across all 2009 SBIR topic areas. USDA SBIR’s flexible research areas ensure innovative projects consistent with USDA’s vision of a healthy and productive nation in harmony with the land, air, and water. USDA SBIR has awarded over 2000 research and development projects since 1983, allowing hundreds of small businesses to explore their technological potential, and providing an incentive to profit from the commercialization of innovative ideas.

Solicitation Date (Opening)

June 10, 2009

Due Date (Closing) Phase I

September 3, 2009

Anticipated Award Date Phase I

May 3, 2010

Estimated Total Program Funding


Range of Awards

$70,000.00 to $90,000.00

Percent of Applications Funded Last Fiscal Year


For More Information Contact

Charles F. Cleland

Funding Opportunity Number


CFDA Number

10.212 Small Business Innovation Research

Contact for Electronic Access Problems

Important to note here is the turn-around time for notice of the award.  From closing to anticipated award notification is 8 months.  Companies interested in applying for SBIR/STTR grant should understand that it is not an immediately available source of funds.  Thus, a company should strategically plan how SBIR/STTR can fit their business model.

Abstracts of Funded SBIR Projects

The table here includes links to program descriptions and funded project abstracts for each phase of the SBIR program.

USDA Sample Winning Proposals

These proposals, which resulted in either a Phase I or Phase II award, were submitted under previous USDA SBIR Program Solicitation guidelines. As such, these proposals do not accurately reflect the current format nor the forms and attachments that are required for submission through These sample proposals are provided solely for general guidance. Social security numbers, budgets, and some material containing biographical information have been deleted to protect confidentiality.  A link to the website is located here:

Phase I

Phase II