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How Small Business Can Qualify for Federal Government SBIR/STTR Grants

Small Business Innovation Research  and Technology
The federal government does not typically offer business grants, especially to small businesses. However, one exception is the SBIR/STTR programs offered by the United States Government. These grants are for small businesses under 500 employees whose business is research and development in areas designated by the government.

SBIR stands for Small Business Innovation Research, and STTR stands for Small Business Technology Transfer. Every year, the government awards over $2 billion dollars in grants to small businesses focused on research and technology. To be eligible, businesses must be for-profit, have less than 500 employees, be independently owned and operated, headquartered in the U.S., and at least 50 percent ownership by U.S. citizens.

There are several government agencies involved in awarding grants. They include the Departments of Agriculture, Defence, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and National Science Foundation. Each agency will have instructions on open grants and due dates as well as program descriptions and how to apply. The grants are competitive but present opportunities for small business whose goals are in line with the scientific programs important to government research projects.

Interested small businesses can review briefs of companies who have received grants. For example, Glades Crop Care in Jupiter,Florida, received a grant of $146,579 from the United States Department of Agriculture in 2002-2005 for their project of developing predator-friendly insecticides to control pepper weevils in the Southern part of the United States.

The purpose of the small business grants is to encourage more participation of small business solutions that meet a wide range of Government research priorities. Help is available online to research grant areas by topic or department, and webinars and workshops are offered to guide small businesses through the application process.

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