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SBIR Impact - July 2010

SBIR Impact is a quarterly newsletter for small businesses interested in the USDA-Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and for institutions and organizations that support the small business community and rural America.


The FY11 Request for Applications (RFA) was released on June 23, 2010 with a closing date of September 2nd, 2010. Please check the Web site for more information.

All FY2011 proposals must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov and all attachments must be submitted in Portable Document Format (PDF).  Note that the registration process for submitting applications electronically can take as much as two weeks to complete, and registration must be finished prior to submitting an application. To complete the registration process, go to www.grants.gov and click on the “get registered link” under the applicants menu.  Applicants must allow additional time for electronic submission and plan ahead. It is recommended that applicants begin submitting their completed application at least one day prior to the deadline to allow for unforeseen problems or delays.

FY10 Phase II reviews are complete and funding recommendations have been made. Project directors who submitted applications should have received word via phone or e-mail if their application was recommended for funding.  If you submitted a FY 2010 Phase II proposal and have not been informed about the status of your proposal, contact us at sbir@nifa.usda.gov. Information about the recommendation status of a proposal will only be made available to the project directors and/or authorized organizational officials. Information about new grantees will be posted on our abstracts page as soon as awards are made official, around September 1, 2010. We caution companies that have been recommended for an award about publicizing this information before the grant is made official. Grants are not official until a thorough administrative review of each recommended application is complete.

Abstracts for all the FY10 funded Phase I projects will soon be posted on the SBIR website.

The 8.11 topic area on Animal Manure Management will be discontinued. Proposals dealing with innovative ways for handling animal manure that contribute positively to the economics of animal production agriculture should be submitted to topic area 8.3, Animal Production and Protection. Proposals dealing with innovative ways to deal with the impact of animal manure on air or water quality should be submitted to topic area 8.4, Air, Water and Soils. Proposals dealing with innovative ways to convert animal manure to biofuel or biobased products should be submitted to topic area 8.8, Biofuels and Biobased Products.

The 8.9 topic area on Marketing and Trade will be discontinued and is being merged into topic area 8.12, Small and Mid-Sized Farms. Proposals that in previous years would have been submitted to the Marketing and Trade topic area should now be submitted to topic area 8.12, Small and Mid-Size Farms.


New Phase I Project Directors Training: All new 2010 Phase I Project Directors (PDs) will soon receive an email from our office asking to RSVP for a Phase I kickoff webinar.  The purpose of this kickoff webinar is to provide new SBIR grantees with the information needed to successfully execute their grant.

Phase I Commercialization Training: The USDA SBIR program provides an innovative commercialization training program to aid all Phase I grant recipients in the development of a commercialization plan. At this time the SBIR Program office is planning to offer this training again, however we are in the procurement stages to initiate the program in 2010.  Once this process is complete, staff from the SBIR Program office will notify all Phase I grantees with information on how to enroll in this program.  This is an optional program and is offered at no cost to Phase I participants.

Commercialization Assistance Training Program for Phase II Project Directors: As in past years, the USDA SBIR program is planning to initiate a Commercialization Assistance Training Program (CATP).  The CATP is a mandatory 2 day workshop for all FY10 Phase II recipients that provide training and resources to commercialize the technology, product or service being funded by USDA.  The dates for this workshop are proposed for the spring of 2011 and USDA staff will be contacted Phase II PD’s regarding their participation in this program.  This program is offered at no cost to the participants other then travel expenses per the terms and agreement of the award.

Animal agriculture contributes significantly towards total U.S. farm income, with one estimate at about 50% or approximately 87 billion in 1994 dollars.  The production of range cattle, confined beef and pastured beef cattle and the dairy industry are important segments of this activity.  The revenue generated by these activities is adversely affected by arthropod pests, specifically the horn fly and stable fly.  Traditional methods of pest control have involved the use of topically applied pesticides (pyrethroids and organophosphorus chemicals).  Because of the increasing concerns of the impact of these chemicals on the environment and human health and the increasing costs of maintaining the EPA registration of these compounds, the number of agents available for livestock pest management has declined.  Reliance on only a few active ingredients has created additional problems with pesticide resistance. 

With Phase II support from the USDA SBIR Program, Stratacor, Inc., Richmond, California, has developed arthropod repellent formulations, based on economical, low-toxicity, all natural ingredients, for cattle and horses to provide relief from stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans), horn flies (Haematobia irritans), and cattle lice (Bovicola bovis, Solenopotes capillatus, and Linoganthus vituli).  The repellent also had activity against face flies (Musca autumnalis), and ticks such as the California black-eyed tick (Ixodes pacificus) and the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum).  Solid formulations were developed for use in dust bags or cattle rubs and liquid formulations were developed for spray or wipe-on application.  Both the liquid and dust formulations were physically stable.  Horn fly repellency was demonstrated under actual use conditions in trials using dust bags, and when tested in comparison to pesticide treatments (coumaphos and tetrachlorvinphos), gave similar reductions in horn fly numbers (approximately 90%) on pastured cattle.  The liquid formulation provided reduction in stable fly counts when applied to the legs of pastured horses and dairy cattle. 

The Stratacor fly repellent is based on fatty acids which occur naturally in a variety of plants and also on the surface of human skin.  The fatty acids are commercially available through Emery Oleochemicals in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Emery Oleochemicals is the world’s leading producer of fatty acids from renewable fats and oils.  Emery will be the global supplier of these compounds for Stratacor.  The fatty acid formulations with naturally occurring carriers are competitive in cost with traditional pest control agents.  All of the fatty acids have Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status with the U.S. FDA and have been approved for use as food additives in the U.S. and elsewhere.  In summary, the Stratacor repellent represents the first effective non-toxic alternative to pesticides for fly control in livestock.

Since the completion of the USDA SBIR grant, the mixture of fatty acids (trademarked C8910) has undergone additional safety and efficacy tests and a data package was submitted to the US EPA in 2007.  In the fall of 2009, the Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division of US EPA issued unconditional registration for the use of C8910 on food producing livestock (beef and dairy cattle) and for horses to repel stable flies, horn flies, house flies, ticks, and cattle lice.  Efforts are underway to register and market C8910 world-wide for use on livestock.

Stratacor, Inc., has conducted additional research that has shown that other formulations of C8910 had effective repellency against mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus), house flies, sand flies, and eye flies, insects that are a direct concern for humans.  These activities have a global impact, as no new public health insecticides have been developed for vector control in disease ridden countries for 30 years.  

These new formulations have focused on the following insects that impact humans and livestock.  Mosquitoes are notorious for vectoring such important tropical diseases as malaria, yellow fever, and human filariasis.  The ordinary house fly is a world-wide problem; it can transmit typhoid fever, cholera, dysentery, pinworms, hookworms, and some tapeworms.  Musca species filth flies are also involved in the spread of trachoma, the leading cause of preventable blindness in the world.  Leishmaniasis is a complex of diseases spread by the sand fly.  World-wide, approximately 12 million people have leishmaniasis and about 350 million people are at risk for catching the disease.  Eye gnats and eye flies (genus Siphunculina) are small insects (1-2 mm) that infest large areas of the tropics and subtropics.  They are extremely annoying to humans and domestic animals, feeding on mucous secretions and most surfaces of the host body such as eyes, nose, ears, and lips.  Due to annoyance or actual spread of disease, flies inflict billions of dollars of loss in world-wide livestock production.  In the developing world, these economic losses have a direct negative impact on human health. Preliminary studies have shown that C8910 has activity against the tsetse fly. The tsetse fly is well known for its role in African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness in humans) and trypanosoma-caused nagana has eliminated most animal agriculture throughout large areas of Africa.  Field testing and registration activities are underway with a collaborating company in South Africa, Afrivet, to register several formulations of C8910 for livestock as well as for direct application to human skin.  Of particular interest are the promising results against Culicoides midges which transmit the viral disease, horse sickness, a major concern to the horse breeding and racing industry due to the inadequacies of the vaccines currently available.  Similarly, it is important to protect ruminant livestock against mosquitoes transmitting Rift Valley fever, a zoonotic disease which causes abortions and death even of some game species during outbreaks which occur during years of abundant rains, as were seen this year.  Mosquito repellent efficacy was confirmed at the South African Bureau of Standards as malaria is an important disease in the north-eastern parts of South Africa and the rest of the continent of Africa.  The results above were added to information received from the suppliers and applications for registration of the products for use on man and livestock have been submitted.

For more information contact:
William Reifenrath, Ph.D.
Stratacor, Inc.
1315 So. 46th Street, Bldg. 154
Richmond, CA  94804
510-965-1545 (voice)



Per the terms and conditions for each grant, the PD is required to complete all reporting within 90 days after the grant period ends.  It is critical that these steps be completed in a timely manner as it is possible grant funds will be lost.  For more information on reporting requirements, please see SBIR Grantee Resources on the website.

Reports are required even if you have not spent any grant funds during a given quarter. Failure to submit reports in a timely manner will result in a hold being placed on your Payment Management System (PMS) account with the Department of Heath and Human Services (DHHS), and you will not be able to withdraw funds until the delinquent report(s) has been submitted and the hold is lifted by the DHHS. USDA-SBIR program staff does not have access to this system and cannot remove any holds placed on the system by DHHS. If you have questions about these reports or need help in completing them, you can contact Vivian Hughes (vhughes@psc.gov or 301.443.9181) at PMS who handles the USDA-SBIR account.  Questions can also be sent to the general PMS help desk (PMSSupport@psc.gov).

Each grantee must provide the SBIR office with current contact information. Because correspondence between USDA-SBIR staff and grantees is conducted almost exclusively via e-mail, correct e-mail addresses are critical. Although maintaining this information is only explicitly required for the duration of the grant, we encourage all prior grantees to maintain contact with our office. Please send changes in contact information to sbir@nifa.usda.gov and include either the proposal or grant number for all projects to which the change applies.

Please note: e-mail addresses also need to be updated with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Payment Management System (see http://www.dpm.psc.gov/help/email_addresses.aspx).

Proper acknowledgement of NIFA funding in published manuscripts, presentations, and press releases is important for the success of the USDA-SBIR program. We specifically ask that you use the following language to acknowledge this support:

“This project was supported by the Small Business Innovation Research program of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Grant Number (Insert Grant Number Here).”
We strongly encourage you to acknowledge NIFA funding in interviews and articles that feature your company and work that has been supported through our program. This acknowledgement is beneficial for both the USDA-SBIR program and the companies with whom we partner.

Finally, we ask that you use the NIFA logo on your PowerPoint presentations or posters at meetings. Please contact sbir@nifa.usda.gov for a high quality image file of our logo.


The fall 2010 SBIR National SBIR Conference will be held in Oklahoma City November 8-11, 2010.  USDA will be sending a representative to this meeting.  For more information on the conference go to www.sbirok.org.


Dr. Charles Cleland

  • 8.1 Forests and Related Resources
  • 8.4 Soil and Water Resources
  • 8.7 Aquaculture
  • 8.12 Small and Mid Size Farms

Dr. William Goldner

  • 8.2 Plant Production and Protection – Biology
  • 8.8 Biofuels and Biobased Products
  • 8.13 Plant Production and Protection – Engineering

Dr. S. Sureshwaran

  • 8.6 Rural and Community Development

Dr. Dionne Toombs

  • 8.5 Food Science and Nutrition

Dr. Adele Turzillo

  • 8.3 Animal Production and Protection

Scott Dockum

  • General SBIR Program Support


The USDA SBIR staff encourages feedback concerning this newsletter and, more broadly, the administration of the USDA SBIR program. We are committed to being responsive to the needs of applicants to the program and to those companies who have received USDA SBIR grants. Please send comments to sbir@nifa.usda.gov or call (202) 401-4995.


To receive email notification of future USDA SBIR Newsletter releases, send a message to sbir@nifa.usda.gov and type subscribe sbir in the subject line.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.