Public Release: 

USDA helps small businesses develop new agricultural products, technology

National Institute of Food and Agriculture

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 18, 2017 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today 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, Washington, will develop new wheat varieties at their Phoenix, Arizona, 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.


GSS Group LLC, Bella Vista, Arkansas, $100,000
Quakewrap Inc., Tucson, Arizona, $100,000
2WiTech LLC, San Diego, California, $100,000
Architecture Technology Corporation, Campbell, California, $99,960
BioSpyder Technologies Inc., Carlsbad, California, $99,992
Blue Forest Conservation, San Francisco, California, $99,967
Checkerspot, Oakland, California, $100,000
Intelligent Optical Systems Inc., Torrance, California, $99,929
ISCA Technologies Inc., Riverside, California, $100,000
ISCA Technologies Inc., Riverside, California, $100,000
ISCA Technologies Inc., Riverside, California, $100,000
ISCA Technologies Inc., Riverside, California, $100,000
ISCA Technologies Inc., Riverside, California, $100,000
ISCA Technologies Inc., Riverside, California, $100,000
Spero Energy Inc., Thousand Oaks, California, $100,000
Watershed Materials LLC, Napa, California, $96,864
DMC Biotechnologies Inc., Boulder, Colorado, $100,000
Growcentia Inc., Fort Collins, Colorado, $99,943
HiveTech Solutions LLC, Boulder, Colorado, $97,850
Membrane Protective, Technologies Inc., Fort Collins, Colorado, $100,000
Sporian Microsystems Inc., Lafayette, Colorado, $99,992
TDA Research Inc., Wheat Ridge, Colorado, $100,000
Veterinary Diagnostic Technology Inc., Wheat Ridge, Colorado, $99,973
Compact Membrane Systems Inc., Newport, Delaware, $100,000
Applied Food Technologies Inc., Alachua, Florida, $99,500
Lindgren-Pitman Inc. Pompano Beach, Florida, $98,838
Live Advantage Bait LLC, Jupiter, Florida, $97,905
Pheronym Inc., Gainesville, Florida, $100,000
Ronald P. Weidenbach dba Hawaii Fish Company, Waialua, Hawaii, $100,000
Gross-Wen Technologies Inc., Ankeny, Iowa, $100,000
PSR Genetics LLC, Gilbert, Iowa, $99,800
StarrMatica Learning Systems Inc., Clinton, Iowa, $100,000
K2 BioMicrosystems LLC, Geneva, Illinois, $99,725
Advanced Vascular Therapies Inc., Lafayette, Indiana, $99,752
Biomineral Systems LLC, South Bend, Indiana, $100,000
Createability Concepts Inc., Carmel, Indiana, $99,952
Nutramaize LLC, Lafayette, Indiana, $99,977
Mechanized Design LLC, Manhattan, Kansas, $99,839
Aquaculture Systems Technologies, New Orleans, Louisiana, $96,476
Aerodyne Research Inc., Billerica, Massachusetts, $100,000
Cambrian Innovation Inc., Boston, Massachusetts, $100,000
Nano Terra Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, $99,993
Palmos Company, Cambridge, Massachusetts, $100,000
Reactive Innovations LLC, Westford, Massachusetts, $99,999
Vecna Technologies Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, $100,000
Vuronyx Technologies LLC, Beverly, Massachusetts, $100,000
Ward Aquafarms LLC, North Falmouth, Massachusetts, $98,750
Inventwood LLC, Hyattsville, Maryland, $100,000
N5 Sensors Inc., Rockville, Maryland, $99,807
VitaminSea LLC, Buxton, Maine, $100,000
Novoreach Technologies LLC, Midland, Michigan, $100,000
Oxford Biomedical Research Inc., Rochester Hills, Michigan, $99,872
Sasya LLC, Plymouth, Minnesota, $100,000
APSE Inc, Saint Louis, Missouri, $100,000
NanoGuard Technologies LLC, Saint Louis, Missouri, $100,000
Vox Vineyards Inc., Kansas City, Missouri, $86,000
GS Research LLC, Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, $100,000
NWB Sensors Inc., Bozeman, Montana, $99,853
Nanodiagnostic Technology LLC, Kannapolis, North Carolina, $100,000
Renuvix LLC, Fargo, North Dakota, $100,000
Midwest Hop Producers LLC, Plattsmouth, Nebraska, $69,315
NG Health Ventures LLC, Lincoln, Nebraska, $100,000
Ecovative Design LLC, Troy, New York, $99,999
FloraPulse Company, Ithaca, New York, $99,927
Vedge Kids LLC, Yorktown Heights, New York, $100,000
Zymtronix Catalytic Systems Inc., Ithaca, New York, $99,923
LARAD Inc., Wooster, Ohio, $99,245
Sensor Development Corporation, Elyria, Ohio, $99,916
Skyward, Ltd., Dayton, Ohio, $99,993
UES Inc., Dayton, Ohio, $100,000
All Things Bugs LLC, Midwest City, Oklahoma, $100,000
Alpha Scents Inc., West Linn, Oregon, $100,000
eWind Solutions, Inc., Beaverton, Oregon, $100,000
Advanced Cooling Technologies Inc., Lancaster, Pennsylvania, $99,936
MicrobiType LLC, Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, $75,000
Compost Plant L3C, Providence, Rhode Island, $97,575
Cirtemo, Columbia, South Carolina, $100,000
Gloyer - Taylor Laboratories LLC, Tullahoma, Tennessee, $95,069
Fulcrum BioScience LLC, West Jordan, Utah, $99,733
Burnshire Hydroelectric LLC, Star Tannery, Virginia, $99,552
Novateur Research Solutions LLC, Leesburg, Virginia, $99,980
Triangle Engineering, White River Junction, Vermont, $99,979
Arcadia Biosciences Inc., Seattle, Washington, $100,000
Forest Concepts LLC, Auburn, Washington, $100,000
Grow Plastics LLC, Seattle, Washington, $100,000
Whole Energy Fuel Company, Bellingham, Washington, $98,000
Midwestern BioAg. Inc., McFarland, Wisconsin, $99,575
Xylome Corporation, Madison, Wisconsin, $100,000

More information on these projects is available on the NIFA website.


Dunn`s Fish Farms Inc., Brinkley, Arkansas, $600,000
ISCA Technologies Inc., Riverside, California, $600,000
ISCA Technologies Inc., Riverside, California, $600,000
One Resonance Sensors LLC, San Diego, California, $599,331
TDA Research Inc., Wheat Ridge, Colorado, $600,000
Compact Membrane Systems Inc., Newport, Delaware, $600,000
Foresight Science & Technology Inc., Gainesville, Florida, $530,104
Candidus Inc., Athens, Georgia, $600,000
Jun Innovations Inc., Honolulu, Hawaii, $596,592
Accelerated Ag Technologies LLC, Urbandale, Iowa, $600,000
Gross-Wen Technologies Inc., Ankeny, Iowa, $600,000
Aptimmune Biologics Inc., Champaign, Illinois, $600,000
Hazel Technologies LLC, Skokie, Illinois, $600,000
ORB Technologies LLC, Lexington, Kentucky, $600,000
Diversified Technologies Inc., Bedford, Massachusetts, $599,120
Advanced Medical Electronics Corporation, Maple Grove, Minnesota, $599,981
Montana BioAgriculture Inc., Missoula, Montana, $599,999
Epicrop Technologies Inc., Lincoln, Nebraska, NE, $599,999
Windcall Manufacturing Inc., Venango, Nebraska, $600,000
Codagenix Inc., Farmingdale, New York, $592,912
3Bar Biologics Inc., Columbus, Ohio, $600,000
Innovative Scientific Solutions Inc., Dayton, Ohio, 599,640
VRM Labs Inc., Easley, South Carolina, $600,000
Stony Creek Colors Inc., Goodlettsville, Tennessee, $599,828
Nutrient Recovery and Upcycling LLC, Madison, Wisconsin, $585,819
Whole Trees LLC, Madison, Wisconsin, $579,540

More information on these projects is available on the NIFA website.

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, Tennessee, 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, Florida, 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. SolviNix®LC, is the world's first EPA-approved biological herbicide containing a plant virus as the active ingredient.

NIFA's mission is to invest in and advance agricultural research, education, and extension to solve societal challenges. NIFA's investments in transformative science directly support the long-term prosperity and global preeminence of U.S. agriculture. To learn more about NIFA's impact on agricultural sciences, visit, sign up for updates, and follow us on Twitter @USDA_NIFA, #NIFAImpacts.


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