USDA – SBIR Phase I Program Announcement

The USDA has just announced Phase I funding for 2012. The process hasn’t changed from any agency’s SBIR funding, Phase I is used to further basic research related to the agency’s specific priorities, but is a prerequisite to apply for the applied research and commercialization funding found in Phases II and III.

USDA’s research topics all focus on improvements to the agriculture process.

Although the USDA lists several different issues areas and topics of research, generally the funding breaks down to either:

1) programs that increase agricultural yield, either through new farming technology that enhances plant and animal growth, or better devices to mitigate the effects of pests or disease on crops and livestock or

2) energy efficiency projects that reduce the footprint of agricultural efforts, especially ones that promote the use of biofuels, or simplify the processes involved in creating said fuels.

Specific topic areas include but are not limited to:

  • Development of technologies and services that specifically address the needs of youth and the low-income sector of the rural population.
  • Research to address the issue of ecosystem adaptation to climate change, ways to enhance carbon sequestration and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, development of decision support tools for forest managers and markets for forest ecosystem services.
  • Improved efficiency of crop production by adoption and/or development of innovative methods and applications for traditional plant breeding and biotechnology,
  • Improve the productivity of animals in modified conventional or alternative animal production systems.  Examples include non-confinement housing, pasture-based feeding systems, and organic systems
  • Develop new and improved technologies to optimize water management conservation at both the farm level and at a watershed scale, monitor the quality of surface water and groundwater resources for biotic and abiotic pollutants, including animal manure and pharmaceuticals, develop improved methods for the reuse of waste water, including the remediation and restoration of water resources that impact agriculture and forestry operations, and promote watershed restoration.
  • Developing sensor technologies for the detection of microorganisms and improved methods for rapid detection of microorganisms during post-harvest, processing, and distribution.
  • Novel or innovative approaches to improve reproductive efficiency in aquaculture
  • Identification of markets and development of new biobased products and processes for making products from new industrial crops
  • Efforts are needed to develop tools and skills that are appropriate for small farms that will enhance the efficiency and profitability of small farms.
  • Enhance the efficiency of crop production by utilizing innovative methods and equipment for planting, growing and harvesting crop plants

Deadline for  Submission is September 6, 2012.

Grants are capped at $100,000 for Phase I, but can potentially lead to larger funding levels in Phases II and III. A summary is included below. The full announcement is attached. Just want to keep you in the loop. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

USDA SBIR Program – Phase I

Synopsis Full Announcement Application

The synopsis for this grant opportunity is detailed below, following this paragraph. This synopsis contains all of the updates to this document that have been posted as of 06/14/2012 . If updates have been made to the opportunity synopsis, update information is provided below the synopsis.

If you would like to receive notifications of changes to the grant opportunity click send me change notification emails .  Only your e-mail is required for this service.

Any inconsistency between the original printed document and the disk or electronic document shall be resolved by giving precedence to the printed document.

Document Type: Grants Notice
Funding Opportunity Number: USDA-NIFA-SBIR-003848
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Posted Date: Jun 14, 2012
Creation Date: Jun 14, 2012
Original Closing Date for Applications: Sep 06, 2012
Current Closing Date for Applications: Sep 06, 2012
Archive Date: Oct 06, 2012
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Agriculture
Business and Commerce
Community Development
Food and Nutrition
Natural Resources
Science and Technology and other Research and Development
Estimated Total Program Funding: $18,300,000
Award Ceiling: $100,000
Award Floor: $70,000
CFDA Number(s): 10.212  —  Small Business Innovation Research
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No

Eligible Applicants: Small businesses

Additional Information on Eligibility:

Agency Name:  USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

See the 2013 USDA SBIR request for applications (RFA) by clicking the RFA link on the table below. Funds may be awarded up to $100,000 for Phase I and up to $450,000 for Phase II. Success rates for applicants have been about 11% 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 2013 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. Click below for more SBIR information.

Link to Additional Information: Small Business Innovation Research Program – Phase I

If you have difficulty accessing the full announcement electronically, please contact:

NIFA Help Desk
Phone: 202-401-5048
Business hours are M-F, 7:00 am -5:00 pm ET, excluding Federal holidays
If you have any questions related to preparing application content please e-mail:

Synopsis Modification History: There are currently no modifications for this opportunity.