Overview of USDA’s SBIR Program

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August 24 | 12-1 p.m. (CDT) | Free for Members & Non-Members

Join us at 12 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, August 24, when Melinda Coffman, USDA SBIR Program Coordinator, will provide an overview of the USDA’s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program. Learn how the USDA SBIR program focuses on turning scientific innovations into products and services with commercial potential and/or societal benefit by learning about the program’s topic areas, this year’s programmatic priorities, eligibility requirements, and application process. A Q&A session will follow the presentation.

Phase I RFAs are due in October and are generally released every year in July. Reserve your spot today!

USDA Small Business Innovation Research Topics

  • Forests and Related Resources
  • Plant Production and Protection—Biology
  • Animal Production and Protection
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Food Science and Nutrition
  • Rural Development
  • Aquaculture
  • Biofuels and Biobased Products
  • Small and Mid-Size Farms
  • Plant Production and Protection— Engineering

Event Presenter

Melinda Coffman—USDA SBIR Program Coordinator

Melinda CoffmanMelinda has been with NIFA, as the USDA Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) Program Coordinator, since September of 2020. She manages the program, which administers Phase I and Phase II grants, and works hand in hand with the Small Business Administration.

Prior to this position she had spent much of her career working at the University of Kansas, where she worked in social science research, consulting/training, and program evaluation. She was able to develop her research skills with both quantitative and qualitative data. She also expanded her program evaluation knowledge and became the primary evaluator for the evidence-based and emerging practices for her division. She served as the lead research associate for a national study organized by Dartmouth University. Through her research and evaluation projects, she became proficient in multiple evidence-based and emerging practices. She co-authored multiple fidelity instruments and academic publications.

She holds a BS in Agriculture from Northwest Missouri State University and an MBA from Benedictine College. She pursued an MBA to further her interest in applying business principles to social problems. She is a strong proponent of data-driven decision-making, project management tools and techniques, and results-based management. The SBIR program combines agricultural research, business principles, and public service all of which are strong interests of Melinda’s.

Registration Dates

Registration runs through Tuesday, August 24, until the webinar begins.

Pricing Information

  • Member: Free/$0
  • Non-Member: Free/$0


About SBIR

The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers competitively awarded grants to qualified small businesses to support high-quality research related to important scientific problems and opportunities in agriculture that could lead to significant public benefits. The program stimulates technological innovations in the private sector and strengthens the role of federal research and development in support of small businesses. The SBIR program also fosters and encourages participation by women-owned and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses.


Erica Hellmich | 515.294.3352 | ericah@niamrre.org


August 24, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm UTC+0
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