Small Business Innovation Research

To stimulate technological innovation 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 disadvantaged small business firms in technological innovation.
Examples of Funded Projects

Bolted Wood Framing System; Development of Floating Permeable Covers to Control Emissions from Livestock Waste Lagoons; Production of Organic Acids by Simultaneous Fermentation and Adsorption; Software for Evaluating the Impact of Forest Management Plans on Wildlife; Bioprocessing Wheat Midds and Screenings to Improve Protein.


Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.



Program Accomplishments

This program was designed to strengthen the role of small, innovative firms in Federally-funded research and development. The thirteen categories of research supported under this program are: Forests and Related Resources; Plant Production and Protection-Biology; Animal Production and Protection; Soil and Water Resources; Food Science and Nutrition; Rural and Community Development; Aquaculture; Industrial Applications; Marketing and Trade; Wildlife; Animal Manure Management, Small and Mid-size Farms, Plant Production and Protection-Engineering.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The selected areas for research are Forests and Related Resources; Plant Production and Protection-Biology; Animal Production and Protection; Soil and Water Resources; Food Science and Nutrition; Rural and Community Development; Aquaculture; Industrial Applications; Marketing and Trade; Wildlife; Animal Manure Management, Small and Mid-size Farms, Plant Production and Protection-Engineering.

The Small Business Innovation Research Program is carried out in three separate phases: Phase I projects are supported to determine the scientific or technical feasibility of ideas submitted by proposes on the selected research areas; Phase II awards are made to firms with approaches that appear sufficiently promising as a result of Phase I studies.

Only those small businesses previously receiving Phase I awards in either of the two preceding fiscal years are eligible to submit Phase II proposals.

Phase II projects are limited to $350,000 for a period normally not to exceed 24 months; Phase III is to be conducted by the small business concern (including joint ventures and limited partnerships), and will be non-SBIR funded through the exercising of a follow-on funding commitment.

The purpose of Phase III is to stimulate technological innovation and the national return on investment from research through the pursuit of commercialization objectives resulting from the USDA-supported work carried out in Phases I and II.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applicant Eligibility (1) is organized for profit, with a place of business located in the United States, which operates primarily within the United States, or which makes a significant contribution to the United States economy through the payment of taxes or use of American products, materials or labor; (2) is in the legal form of an individual proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, joint venture, association, trust or cooperative, except that where the form is a joint venture, there can be no more than 49 percent participation by foreign business entities in the joint venture; (3) is at least 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in, the United States, except in the case of a joint venture, where each entity in the venture must be 51 percent owned and controlled by one or more individuals who are citizens of, or permanent resident aliens in the United States; and (4) has, including its affiliates, not more than 500 employees.

The term "affiliates" is defined in greater detail in 13 CFR 121.103.

The term "number of employees" is defined in 13 CFR 121.106.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Small businesses.

Credentials/Documentation

Each prospective grantee organization must furnish the organizational information and assurances specified in the SBIR program solicitation. The principles to be used in determining allowable costs of activities under this program are contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulations, 48 CFR Part 31. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Publication by the Small Business Administration listing all agencies participating in the program, their Small Business Innovation Research coordinators, proposed dates for their solicitations, and proposed topic areas.

This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No.

A-102 and E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

Formal proposal to SBIR Program, CSREES, USDA, as outlined in the SBIR program solicitation. Application procedures are contained in the SBIR program solicitation. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

The SBIR Program staff reviews and evaluates all proposals with the assistance and advice of a peer panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal.

Deadlines

Please contact the program contact listed in the Information Contacts section below.

Authorization

Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982, Public Law 97-219, as amended, Public Law 99-443; Public Law 102-564.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Six months from application receipt to notification of approval/disapproval.

Appeals

Phase I applications may be revised and resubmitted during a later funding cycle, provided the subject matter of the proposal is not changed, and the topic area under which the proposal was originally submitted is still listed in the solicitation. Phase I grantees may apply for a Phase II grant only once for each Phase I project funded.

Renewals

None.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

There are no matching requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Phase I grants are normally limited to 8 months. Phase II grants are normally limited to 2 years.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Final performance and final financial status reports for Phase I grants must be submitted 30 and 90 days, respectively, after the expiration date of the grant.

Final performance and final financial status reports for Phase II grants must be submitted 90 days after the expiration date of the grant.

Audits

Periodic audits should be made as part of the recipient's systems of financial management and internal control to meet the terms and conditions of grants and other agreements. This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General. Federal audits will be made in accordance with the policies of the Federal Acquisition Regulations, 48 CFR Part 42, to ensure that funds have been applied efficiently, economically, and effectively.

Records

Grantees are expected to maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for the purpose for which the grant was made. Records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and for at least 3 years after the date of submission of the final financial status report.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-1500-0-1-352.

Obigations

(Grants) FY 07 $15,599,447; FY 08 est $12,813,701; and FY 09 est not reported.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

$54,215 to $350,000; $117,433.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

7 CFR Part 3403, Small Business Innovation Research Grants Program, Administrative Provisions, 62 FR 26168, May 12, 1997; 7 CFR Part 3015, USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations; 7 CFR Part 3017, Government wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and Government wide Requirements for Drug- Free Workplace (Grants); 7 CFR Part 3018, New Restrictions on Lobbying; The Small Business Innovation Research Program Reauthorization Act of 2000, Public Law 106-554, amended section 9 of the Act (15 U.S.C. 638).

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

SBIR Director, Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, Department of Agriculture, Ag Box 2243, 14th and Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, DC 20250-2243. Telephone: (202) 401-4002.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

(a) The proposing firm must qualify as a small business concern as specified in the SBIR solicitation; (b) The proposal must meet the Proposal Content and Format requirements as described in subsection 3.3 of the SBIR solicitation; (c) Proposals must be limited to one research problem (see subsection 3.1 of the SBIR solicitation); (d) The proposed budget must be within the dollar limit identified in subsection 1.2 of the SBIR solicitation; (e) The proposed duration of Phase I projects should normally not exceed 8 months, except in special, justified circumstances, and the duration of Phase II projects should normally not exceed 24 months. Where a proposed research project requires more than 8 months to complete in Phase I, a longer grant period, not to exceed 20 months, may be considered. An applicant of a Phase I project with an anticipated duration beyond 8 months should specify and justify the length of duration in the proposal at the time of its submission to USDA in order for it to be considered; (f) Proposals must cover scientific research activities only (see subsection 3.1 of the SBIR solicitation); (g) The proposed Phase I research must fall within a solicited topic area; (h) A proposal must contain adequate scientific/technical information to state clearly the research plan and objectives. USDA reserves the right not to submit for review any proposal which it finds to have insufficient scientific/technical information; (i) A resubmitted proposal must address concerns of the previous review panel. USDA reserves the right not to submit for review any proposal found not to be responsive to the previous review; and (j) Is it clear that the project director will work a minimum of 51 percent of his/her time for the small business firm during the period of the grant and that the small business firm will conduct a minimum of two-thirds of the research effort?



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