NASA Invests $ 105 Million in Developing Innovative Technologies for U.S. Small Businesses

">Nasa has a long history of supporting American entrepreneurs as they develop technology, from ideas to business readiness. The agency’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program continues this legacy with 140 new Phase II awards to 127 U.S. small businesses that will help them bring their innovations to market.

Prizes at these small businesses, located in 34 states and Washington, DC, total $ 105 million. NASA’s Small Business Program is dedicated to finding the technologies most useful for the agency and the commercial market, and seeking out those innovations from a diverse group of entrepreneurs with different backgrounds and perspectives. . The companies selected for Phase II funding include 33 small businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans.

The winners all received initial SBIR Phase I contracts in 2020 to demonstrate the merits of their innovations and show how they could contribute to NASA’s efforts in human exploration, space technology, science and aeronautics. The Phase II awards will provide them each with up to $ 750,000 to advance their technologies to potential commercialization. Companies will spend up to two years developing, demonstrating and delivering their proposed projects.

“These small companies received Phase I awards towards the onset of the global pandemic and persevered to evolve promising and promising technology solutions,” said Jim Reuter, associate administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD ) from NASA. “As the government helps get small businesses back on track, we appreciate their commitment and dedication to supporting NASA’s missions and goals. “

InnoSys Inc., a small, woman-owned business in Salt Lake City, Utah, has developed a concept for a camera that can operate at extremely high temperatures – possibly even on ">Venus where the surface temperature can reach 900 degree Fahrenheit. Its innovation replaces the glass envelopes of conventional imaging tubes with other materials, such as quartz or sapphire, capable of withstanding harsh environments. Beyond space mission applications, the company wants to create cameras for near imaging of fires or high temperature furnaces, and for the inspection of nuclear reactor cores.

NASA aims to help small businesses like InnoSys focus on commercialization. The program provides additional funding opportunities for small businesses if their Phase II work proves successful, helping them find clients outside of the agency.

“The Phase II contract period is an exciting time as small businesses put their ideas into practice and develop prototypes that are attractive to NASA and private investors,” said Jason L. Kessler, NASA SBIR program director. . “The technologies selected have shown great potential impacts for their respective industries, and we are proud to continually invest in today’s booming aerospace economy through these small companies. “

California-based Micro Cooling Concepts has been working with NASA’s SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program since 2004 on various innovations in thermal management. This year, NASA selected the company for a Phase II contract to build a lightweight and compact heat exchanger with possible electrified aircraft propulsion applications. Using the development and lessons learned during Phase I, Micro Cooling Concepts will advance its clean energy technology to potentially support new aircraft configurations for NASA, the military and commercial sectors.

Tietronix Software Inc., a small minority owned company in Houston, has been selected to develop a virtual medical “expert” that integrates artificial intelligence and augmented reality. Working on its concept during Phase I, Tietronix Software recognized the need to seamlessly integrate medical resources, knowledge, training, procedural advice and diagnostic support. The system could provide astronauts with medical autonomy on extended missions and benefit the military or other organizations in places where medical professionals have limited availability.

NASA previously announced $ 45 million in Phase I awards to another group of small businesses in March 2021.

NASA’s SBIR / STTR program is part of STMD and is managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California.

Check out the full list of the latest NASA SBIR Phase II selections.