SBA and Millennium Challenge Corporation Announce Strategic Collaboration to Advance Emerging Technologies from Small Businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration and The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding today to advance emerging technologies and innovations developed through the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs.

The SBA/MCC partnership will identify, pilot, and scale innovative technologies to address country-specific needs in sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture and irrigation, health, water, sanitation, and hygiene.  It will also help U.S. small business innovators gain access to international markets.

“This agreement continues the incredible collaboration between our two agencies as we support small businesses that are discovering innovative technologies to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.  By combining our focus on renewable energy, climate, and the environment, we’re demonstrating American leadership and commitment to sustainable economic development,” said SBA Director of Innovation John Williams.

“Our collaboration with the U.S. Small Business Administration will allow MCC partner countries to more easily access proven, cutting edge technologies to solve some of their most pressing development challenges,” said MCC’s Vice President of the Department of Compact Operations Fatema Z. Sumar. “We are pleased to be joining with other U.S. government agencies to maximize our joint impact, while also providing opportunities to scale private sector involvement in MCC’s blended finance work.”

The SBA’s Office of Investment and Innovation coordinates the SBIR/STTR programs across the participating federal agencies, now totaling over $4 billion a year in R&D awards for small businesses.  Through this role, the SBA has contributed to the creation of MCC’s new Innovation and Technology Program (ITP), providing private sector technology solutions for developmental impact and commercialization with MCC programs and partner countries.

In November 2020, the SBA and MCC hosted a virtual roundtable that focused on technologies in the water, agriculture, and irrigation sectors. Occurring jointly with the signing of the MOU, the SBA and MCC convened a second virtual roundtable to bring together agencies and program managers from the climate resiliency and energy sectors to discuss innovations that may align and create opportunities in MCC partner countries.

Learn more about MCC here.

About the SBIR and STTR Programs

The SBIR/STTR programs represent the nation’s largest source of early stage research and development funding for small businesses. The programs are administered by the SBA in collaboration with 11 federal agencies that collectively supported more than $4 billion a year in federal research and development funding.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit

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