Often our clients think primarily about NSF or NIH as a source for SBIR funding. This neglects some of the other agencies like USDA, which can be a good fit for appropriate projects. While, most certainly, ‘typical’ farm related topics that affect plant and animal production and protection are excellent fits for an SBIR project, the USDA has several other categories of interest that are fundable. Novel engineering methods for utilizing natural products have been funded as have methods for removing phosphates from waste water. Serious biotech and start-up pharmaceutical companies often find that USDA grants are a good resource, where they find their technologies can be used more rapidly and easily in veterinary applications rather than initially in human applications. USDA is also unique in that they have an interest in areas of focus that are less typical ‘innovative research’. Notably, USDA has topics specifically for rural development as well as promotion of small and midsized farms. These are projects that may commercialize new or even existing technologies that improves the economic vitality of rural communities; or increases profitability of small farms in any number of ways. With this in mind, we are actively seeking out teams who may fit the USDA program, and have not previously considered it.
Contact your CTC Consultant or request a meeting to speak more about the upcoming October USDA SBIR deadline and how your project may be a fit for the program.