WASHINGTON — Small businesses on Oct. 20 received more than $18 million in grants for research and development designed to lead to technological innovations for American agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture reported. The N.I.F.A. awarded 100 grants through the Small Business Innovation Research program.
Companies initially apply for Phase I feasibility studies, which may be followed by Phase II research and development projects. Phase I grants are limited to $100,000 and a length of eight months. Phase II grants are limited to $450,000 and a length of 24 months. About 30% to 40% of Phase 1 projects continue on to Phase II.
The U.S.D.A. in fiscal year 2014 awarded $7,421,711 in Phase I grants and $11,048,055 in Phase II grants.
“Small businesses are adept at finding solutions that can advance agriculture, create new jobs and grow our economy,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “These grants will provide resources so small businesses can innovate and create new breakthroughs. The S.B.I.R. program has provided hundreds of small businesses with the ability to explore new ideas that have led to cutting-edge solutions to pressing challenges and helped keep American agricultural innovative and strong."A list of 2014 Small Business Innovation Research awards is available at www.nifa.usda.gov/newsroom/news/2014news/10_20_sbir_grant_descriptions.html.