There are a couple of grants coming up that are of particular interest to our industry. If you have additional questions, I encourage you to Contact Us.
Department of Energy (DOE) C55-20a: Biological Approaches and Technologies for Synthetic Polymer Upcycling
For our purposes, here's a chance to show off your pilot projects feeding styrofoam and other plastics to mealworms/superworms/whatever. If you have some early results, even and especially if the uptake rates are pretty low, this grant may help you integrate some new approaches.
If you need partners for this one, some of the researchers and institutions at CEIF (Center for Environmental Sustainability through Insect Farming) have great experience enriching microbiomes and doing genetic modification of insects that results in successful breeding lines.
Phase 1 of this grant is $250K, and PII is up to $1.6M. It's not for basic research or strain surveys, so you'll need to have some results before you even apply. Letters of intent are due August 27, 2022, and the main application is due October 11, 2022.
USDA Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR)
Generally speaking, your best bet is topic area 8.12 Small- and Midsize-Farms. There are 5 topic subsections, and most insect farmers can shoehorn themselves into one or more of these.
Dr. Denis Ebodaghe is your contact for this one, and it's recommended to touch base with him before applying. Generally speaking, the our industry isn't large enough, in terms of volume or % of GDP, to interest the other Program Managers, though there is an interesting algae one in the aquaculture program. Midsize farms are capped at <$1M in annual sales of agriculture products, so be aware of that.
P1 is $125K ($131.5K with TABA) for 8 months, and applications are due Oct 6, 2022. USDA really prefers that you have a CRADA with a federal or university research institution, so if you don't already have one, start building those relationships now.
We're also happy to announce that this year, with the addition of Devon Brits to our team, we have expanded capacity to help with your grants needs! We have the capacity to.support (read: handhold) 3 more companies with the writing and project management for these highly competitive grants, and can support a dozen more companies in a less comprehensive manner (advising on project topics, introducing potential collaborators, technical advice, etc).
These slots tend to fill up quickly, so drop us a line on our Contact Us.
Finally, as always, we're happy to write Letters of Support for your projects with quick turnaround times, and to be written into your TABA as technical advisors should you receive your funding.