December 11, 2023

Technology Development

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NASA SBIR Chooses 110 Small Businesses for its Tech Development Program | Here’s How it Works

(Photo : Unsplash/SpaceX) SpaceX

NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research or SBIR program has chosen 110 small businesses in the United States for continued technology development.

The range of projects supports space exploration and improvements to life on Earth, from the solar array technology that could help power the work of astronauts on the Moon to antenna technology that could help improve satellite internet service.

What is the SBIR Program?

The NASA SBIR program provides early-stage funding for research and development. The program gives up to $1.15 million during the first three years and up to $3 million or more through the Post Phase II opportunities. 

NASA takes zero equity and allows business owners to control their intellectual property. 

Business owners can also work with NASA experts on their technology, and they are given the opportunity to join them in one of their missions.

How to Apply for the SBIR Program

In order to be able to participate in NASA’s SBIR program, business owners need to submit a proposal in response to a subtopic identified in the annual Solicitations. 

The Solicitations are available through the Solicitations section of the NASA SBIR Homepage.

NASA Reveals the Chosen Businesses 

NASA’s SBIR program gives early-stage funding and other non-monetary support to all chosen small businesses with pioneering ideas to help advance NASA’s missions and the aerospace ecosystem.

The new round of awards gives almost $95 million to small businesses across a total of 123 projects, according to NASA.

Also Read: NASA’s New Coral Research Program Will Take Place From 23,000 Feet Above

The companies previously received NASA SBIR Phase I awards when they successfully established the feasibility of their technologies, according to BusinessFast.

As Phase II awardees, each small business now will get up to $750,000 to develop, demonstrate, and deliver their technologies to NASA up to 2024, according to TechRegister.

Among the awardees are nine small businesses owned by women and five small businesses owned by veterans. Thirty-six of the small businesses are first-time Phase II recipients.

Gynelle Steele, the deputy program executive for NASA’s SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer or STTR programs at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, said that it is both a program mission and passion to increase the diversity of collaborators into the agency’s work.

Steele added that they are especially excited about working alongside the first-time companies as they bring their ideas from paper to prototype in Phase II.

Companies Included in the Program

Teltrium Solutions LLC, which is a small business owned by a woman and minority, received two Phase II awards in this cycle.

The business, which is based in Greenbelt, Maryland, creates a lens that improves the performance of parabolic antennas, usually used to satellite ground terminals for data delivery from satellites, direct-to-home broadcasting, internet to some areas, and more.

Gendell Associates is a small business that is based in Hoboken, New Jersey, and it does business under the name Folditure. It was awarded its first Phase II award to help meet NASA’s need for new lunar surface solar array structures to power future robotic and human exploration of the Moon.

The company also creates foldable, space-saving furniture for customers. It spent its Phase I period validating the design, packing efficiency, scalability, and retractability of its Sunflake Solar Array and Ultra Compact Tripod Tower.

Recon RF Inc., is a veteran-owned small business based in San Diego, and it got its first Phase II award after proving its concept for an improved S-Band solid-state power amplifier module, which could meet some of NASA’s remote sensing needs on data collection platforms in space that have size, power, weight, and cost restrictions, like as CubeSats or other small satellites.

In 2021, NASA’s Citizen Science Program gave the grant to 23 researchers.

NASA also launched a “Tree of Life” project that wants to connect Earth and outer space. 

Related Article: NASA Small Business Administrator’s Cup Award Goes to Kennedy Space Center | Check Out This Year’s Accomplishments

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Written by Sophie Webster

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