US small business owners may wish to check out the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The goal of the program is to encourage small businesses to engage in federal-level research and development that has the potential for commercialization. At least 12 agencies are involved, including the Department of Agriculture and NASA. To date, SBIR claims that more than 15,000 firms have done more than $21 billion in research, with more than 50,000 patents resulting. Obviously the program is highly competitive, but if your company has what it takes, it could represent a tremendous opportunity.

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