Bindl Sales

Indiana Ag News Headlines
USDA Helps Small Businesses Develop Ag Technology
Indiana Ag Connection - 10/20/2017

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced grants to help bring agricultural business ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace. Funding is made through NIFA's Small Business Innovation Research Program.

"For small agricultural businesses, the federal government is a key, initial investor to help them get great ideas into the marketplace," said NIFA Director, Sonny Ramaswamy. "The feasibility and scalability of these business concepts are evaluated through our peer review process, and businesses get to keep their intellectual property rights as they commercialize their ventures."

The Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) is coordinated by the Small Business Administration and administered by 11 federal agencies, including USDA. It encourages domestic small businesses to engage in high-growth research and development with high potential for commercialization and that could lead to significant public benefit. Phase I grants invest in feasibility and proof of concept studies. Phase II grants help successful Phase I projects scale up, implement, and commercialize their ventures. Topic areas include forests and related resources; plant production and protection -- biology; animal production and protection; air, water, and soils; food science and nutrition; rural and community development; aquaculture; biofuels and biobased products; small and mid-size farms; and plant production and protection -- engineering.

In FY17, the SBIR program supported 114 Phase I and II grants totaling more than $24 million. Among the Phase I projects, Arcadia Biosciences of Seattle, Wash., will develop new wheat varieties at their Phoenix, Ariz., facilities to help increase consumer acceptance of whole grain wheat by improving the shelf life and flavor of whole grain flour. A Phase II project by Jun Innovations of Honolulu, Hawaii, will take the proprietary super-cooling technology it developed in Phase I and develop commercially viable units for demonstration and licensing with potential partners such as major home appliance manufacturers.

Phase I projects include Advanced Vascular Therapies Inc., Lafayette, Ind. $99,752; Biomineral Systems LLC, South Bend, Ind., $100,000; Createability Concepts Inc., Carmel, Ind., $99,952; and Nutramaize LLC, Lafayette, $99,977.

Since 1990, the SBIR program has awarded more than 3,000 research and development grants to American-owned, independently operated, for-profit businesses with 500 employees or less. Among past projects, Stony Creek Colors, near Nashville, Tenn., developed natural indigo and other textile dyes to reduce the need for imported synthetic dyes based on toxic chemicals. Under its Phase II project, Stony Creek Colors received more than $1 million in private investment to scale up crop production and has been successful in increasing sales of their bio-based product into industrial markets.

BioProdex, Inc. of Gainesville, Fla., is helping area ranchers stop the spread of tropical soda apple, an invasive weed that chokes out native species and forage for cattle. The company created an herbicide based on a naturally occurring plant virus called pseudomonas. With this green solution, the company is helping to protect the food chain while saving ranchers money and protecting their lands. SolviNixLC, is the world's first EPA-approved biological herbicide containing a plant virus as the active ingredient.

Send this article to a friend

Other Indiana Headlines
Machinery Pete
Produce Promotions
Copyright 2018 - All Rights Reserved.