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Front Page » July 17, 2007 » Local News » USDA Program Offers Small Business Grants
Published 2,591 days ago

USDA Program Offers Small Business Grants


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By C.J. MCMANUS
Sun Advocate reporter


Local businesses could qualify to receive a United States Department of Agriculture grant of up to $80,000 to conduct a special research project in one of 13 broad topic areas.

The grant information was announced by the USDA's cooperative state research, education and extension service program on July 3.

The Carbon County Economic Development Department in cooperation with the College of Eastern Utah, the manufacturing extension partnership of Utah and the Western Energy Training Center will conduct a comprehensive one-day workshop on July 26.

During the workshop, officials will instruct private business on the ins and outs of how to qualify for, write and submit a competitive SBIR phase one proposal in time for the CSREES program's Aug. 17 deadline date.

"Individuals here in Carbon County have just as good a chance as anyone at obtaining one of the many grants the USDA will be awarding," pointed out Carbon County's economic development director, Delynn Fielding.

The USDA's small business innovative research program allocates competitively awarded grants to qualified small companies and individuals.

According to Fielding, the no-match required grants support high quality, high risk advanced concepts research related to important scientific problems and economic development opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefit if successful.

To learn more about the CSREES small business program, Carbon County residents with Internet access may vistit www.csrees.usda.gov/funding/sbir.

Fielding indicated that the Carbon County workshop will enable local business owners to understand the SBIR guidelines, show how to qualify for SBIR phase one funding, determine how to develop an innovative project topic that will qualify for the USDA grants, learn the proven secrets of how to write and submit a competitive proposal and discover the benefits that local innovators can accrue by becoming involved with the federal program.

Additionally attending individuals will receive considerable detail on concept identification, proposal writing and strategic research partnership development.

All participants will receive personalized assistance on one or more topics of interest, including specific written development of one competitive concept.

Workshop instructors will include Barry Bartlett, a national expert in SBIR proposal development, project administration and the SBIR program consultant to MEP-Utah.

Fielding will also be instructing potential grant applicants during the workshop.

Examples of currently awarded innovation grants include:

•Non-leach-able boron-based wood preservative for ground contact and exterior applications.

•An inexpensive mems-based pesticide detector for long-term monitoring.

•CO2 micro-sensors for atmospheric measurements.

•Breakthrough process for hydrogen peroxide production.

•Automated x-ray and laser imaging system for detecting bone fragments on poultry de-boning lines.

•Power supply for remote and unattended electrical loads.

•Feasibility of a business to help productive and successaging of rural citizens in their own home, saving public funds.

•Construct a test apparatus to rigorously qualify the overall solar-thermal technology.

•Enhanced performance of agriculture based biodegradable hydraulic fluids.

•Vegetable oil gels for clear candles.

•Marketing assessment of Indian Rice grass as a gluten-free flour and in baked finished goods.

•A marketing model for small family farms selling niche products to supermarkets.

•A simple ethylene-detecting device to determine ripeness of individual apples.

"With a little help, most small businesses and even individuals can qualify for SBIR program participation," commented Fielding. "Workshop participants will also be eligible to gain access to personalized SBIR proposal development assistance through MEP-Utah at a fraction of the normal cost."

According to Fielding's press release the SBIR workshop is open to all interested businesses and individuals and will cover both SBIR program and CSREES-specific topics. The workshop will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be conducted at the WETC. Space is limited to 40 participants and interested parties can contact Erin Coberg at the WETC at 435-613-5550 or via email at erin.coberg@ceu.edu for cost and registration.

"My hope is that by having this workshop we can provide local business owners and individuals with the best opportunity to get some of this funding," concluded Fielding.



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