Cover photo for Small Business Innovation Research Program

Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR)

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers competitively awarded grants to qualified small businesses to support high quality research related to important scientific problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefits. The program stimulates technological innovations in the private sector and strengthens the role of federal research and development in support of small businesses. The SBIR program also fosters and encourages participation by women-owned and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.

The objectives of the SBIR Program are to:

  • Stimulate technological innovations 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 and economically disadvantaged small business firms in technological innovations.

Phase II applications are currently open, but only to Phase I winners.


Small businesses and small proprietorships that are in business for profit are eligible to submit applications to this program. Each organization submitting a proposal must qualify as a small business concern for research or research and development purposes. See RFA for additional information.

Phase 2

Only previous USDA Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer Programs Phase I winners who have not applied for Phase II support are eligible to apply for Phase II support through this RFA. A Phase I project may only apply for a Phase II award once. If a Phase I awardee was unsuccessful in receiving a Phase II award with a previous application, then the awardee is not eligible to resubmit the proposal under this program solicitation.


SBIR Phase I grants are limited to $100,000 and duration of 8 months and are open to any small business concern that meets the SBIR eligibility requirements.

SBIR Phase II grants are limited to $600,000 and duration of 24 months and are only open to previous Phase I awardees. SBIR program funds are allocated in proportion to the number of proposals received over 10 broad topic areas. Proposals are reviewed through a confidential peer review process using outside experts from nonprofit organizations. All applicants receive verbatim copies of reviews.

Application Instructions

Apply for this grant online at Search for 'USDA-NIFA-SBIR'

Registration on is required and can take some time.


Financial Instrument


Maximum Award Amount


Updated March 27, 2024

Image Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture

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