USDA is investing more than $12.5 million in its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. 

“The Phase I awards will support 76 small businesses conducting high-quality research that addresses critical scientific challenges and opportunities in agriculture,” according to a USDA release.

The awards announced include $2.5 million to 15 businesses in the first round of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture's STTR program. This program helps to “accelerate projects led by small businesses partnering with nonprofit research institutions to transfer technology to the marketplace,” USDA said.

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Along with the STTR program, NIFA is investing $9.9 million in 61 projects through the SBIR program. In this program, investments are made in projects “supporting research addressing challenges in areas including conserving natural resources, plant and animal production, and developing biobased products,” USDA said.

“Science-based innovations from federally funded research, often developed through public-private partnerships, create products and services that increase productivity and enhance global competitiveness for the U.S. agriculture sector,” Chavonda Jacobs-Young, USDA's chief scientist and undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics, said in a statement.

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