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omb -- USDA Announces Grants to Help Small Business Strengthen Innovation in Private Industry

Posted: 13 Dec 2013 15:32:27
WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2013 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) today announced more than $18 million in grants to small
businesses to conduct research and development that will lead to
technological innovations in the agriculture industry. The awards
were made by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture

"USDA grants to small businesses have spurred the development of
hundreds of technologies and products that help make American
agriculture successful," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
"Today's announcement is another example of USDA's focus on
science and research that can strengthen the economy and create
jobs across the nation. Innovative agricultural research has
helped make agriculture one of the two most productive industries
in the U.S. economy since 1980, but we need a new Food, Farm and
Jobs Bill passed if we are to sustain it."

USDA made the grants through the Small Business Innovation
Research (SBIR) program, with the goal to stimulate technological
innovations in the private sector and to strengthen the role of
small businesses in meeting federal research and development
needs. The program also fosters and encourages participation by
women-owned and socially- or economically-disadvantaged small
business firms.

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 duration of eight
months, while Phase II grants are limited to $450,000 and a
duration of 24 months. Approximately 50 percent of Phase I
projects continue onto Phase II.

In fiscal year 2013, USDA awarded $5,862,650 in Phase I grants
and $12,417,504 in Phase II grants. A complete list of fiscal
year 2013 SBIR awards is available online:

Since 1983, the USDA SBIR program has awarded more than 2,000
research and development grants to American-owned, independently
operated, for-profit businesses with 500 employees or fewer.

USDA NIFA administers the SBIR program, with funding provided by
the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the Agricultural
Research Service, NIFA, the Economic Research Service, the
National Agricultural Statistics Service, and the U.S. Forest

Through federal funding and leadership for research, education
and extension programs, NIFA focuses on investing in science and
solving critical issues impacting people's daily lives and the
nation's future. More information is at http://www.nifa.usda.gov

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