U.S. Commerce Department Gives Small Businesses $3.2 Million for innovation Research


Friday, September 4, 2015

The U.S. Commerce Department today announced that 20 small businesses will receive $3.2 million in grants to spur American innovation and competiveness through federally funded research and development from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The businesses, which range in size from one to 24 employees, will receive Phase I or Phase II funding through NIST’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The awardees are from 15 states and were competitively selected from proposals submitted in response to calls for innovative products to solve specific technology challenges in advanced manufacturing, climate change and clean energy, cyber-physical systems, health care, cybersecurity and technology transfer.

“As ‘America’s Innovation Agency,’ the Commerce Department is committed to supporting the innovators and job creators of tomorrow as they turn big ideas into thriving businesses,” said U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. “The grants being awarded today will support entrepreneurs in their efforts to create solutions to pressing challenges in high-growth industries, and in doing so, will help the American economy forward.”

“Small and young firms are the source of most innovation in our economy and are the backbone of our domestic supply chains,” said Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Willie E. May. “These awards will help these companies to develop new technologies that solve real technical challenges that could lead to innovative products and markets.”

Phase I awardees receive up to $100,000 to establish the merit, feasibility and commercial potential of the proposed research and development. After completing their Phase I projects, awardees may vie for Phase II funding of up to $300,000 to continue their efforts. In Phase III, non-SBIR funds are used for commercialization of the technology.

The Phase I awardees are:

Advanced Manufacturing

3DSIM (Park City, Utah) $100,000
Predictive Modeling Tools for Metal-Based Additive Manufacturing—a new set of computational tools capable of accurately predicting the geometrical accuracy, residual stress and microstructure of parts made using metal-based additive manufacturing. 

AdSem, Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.) $99,997
Tuning Germanium Crystal Reflectivity and Mosaic—a technology that will significantly increase efficiency of U.S. research nuclear reactors for condensed matter research and which can improve telescope focusing systems and the quality of x-ray images for cancer diagnosis.

Advanced Research Corp. (White Bear Lake, Minn.) $99,329
High-Throughput Manufacturing Methods for Engineered MRI Contrast Agents—a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent that may significantly increase the detection of tagged cells for applications in cell transplantations and therapies to treat neurodegenerative diseases, tumors, strokes and brain injuries.

Aztera, LLC (Tucson, Ariz.) $99,903

Visual Ontological Language for Technical Standards (VOLTS)—a Computer Aided Standards Development (CASD) framework built for the visualization of standards so that Aztera’s VOLTS customers, standards development organizations and large companies with internal standards processes can easily create, track and manage new standards.

Categorical Informatics, Inc. (Cambridge, Mass.) $100,000
Category-Theoretic Tool for Manufacturing-related Information—a tool based on category theory that can be used to solve manufacturing-related information-integration problems.

Weinberg Medical Physics LLC (Bethesda, Md.) $99,619
High-Throughput Manufacturing Methods for Engineered MRI Contrast Agents—a process to validate techniques for rapid, massively parallel fabrication of microscale contrast agents that have the potential to increase the specificity and resolution of imaging techniques, while reducing morbidity.

XSB, Inc. (Setauket-E. Setauket, N.Y.) $99,863
A Tool for Building Semantically Interoperable Specification and Standards—an effort to extend the NIST Ontological Visualization Interface for Standards (NOVIS) system to work with other knowledge, classification, and requirements management tools in order to provide a structured, model-based view of the many standards and specifications an organization uses.

Climate Change and Clean Energy

Amethyst Research Inc. (Ardmore, Okla.) $99,998
Large-Area, Uniform Infrared Detector Development for 1 μm to 4.5 μm—large area, high-uniformity photodiodes for standards measurement and gas sensing applications.


Formula Factory (Wyncote, Penn.) $99,938
A Verifier for Multicore C11 or C++11 Code—a tool for verifying that code meets the necessary specifications, which would allow independent verification of software from untrusted vendors.

InfoBeyond Technology LLC (Louisville, Ky.) $100,000
ACPT (Access Control Policy Tool)—a user-friendly, efficient, reliable and generic access control tool for policy modeling, verification and testing for high-security applications.

ObjectSecurity LLC (San Diego, Calif.) $98,995
Automated Access Control Policy Testing System (A-ACPTS)—a project to extend and transition NIST’s Access Control Policy Tool toward commercialization by automating as many inputs as possible to make the tool more usable, less error-prone and more efficient.

Commercialization of NIST Technologies

Promia, Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.) $88,625
Attack Graph Generation Integration with Promia RAVEN (AGGIWPR)—new capabilities for more effectively visualizing and mitigating threats to protected cyber and cyber-physical network systems.

Nodexus Inc. (Berkeley, Calif.) $100,000
New Manufacturing Processes for Next-generation Microfluidic Screening Tools—new manufacturing processes for polymer-based instrumentation for researchers, clinicians and the biotech industry at large.

Z-senz LLC (Gaithersburg, Md.) $100,000.00
High Performance Beam Scanning Using a Resonant Scan Lens—a lens that improves the performance of resonant optomechanical systems used in scanning microscopes, medical endoscopes and manufacturing instrumentation by increasing the uniformity of beam scans.

The Phase II awardees are:

Cyber-Physical Systems

Management Sciences, Inc. (Albuquerque, N.M.) $299,987
Cognitive Residential Heat Pumps Fault Detection and Diagnostic Datalogger—an easy-to-install, plug-and-play kit that connects to existing heat pumps to improve their performance and reduce maintenance costs through aggressive goal-seeking control and simultaneous real-time monitoring for stresses, degradation and equipment faults using deductive modeling.


Antara Teknik LLC (Granite Bay, Calif.) $299.951
Cryptographic Acceleration for Border Gateway ProtocolSecurity (CaBGPSEC)—a comprehensive line of low-cost, high-performance software-defined network solutions that will accelerate the deployment and adoption of Border Gateway Protocol with Security.

Grier Forensics (Lakewood, N.J.) $300,000
Secure Email Agent Using the Domain Name System (DNS) as a Trust Infrastructure—a technology to use the Domain Name System to distribute certificates and keys to  make email secure, authenticated and confidential; curb losses from phishing attacks; and allow people to use email as a simple, readily available means of trustworthy communication.

Health Care

En'Urga, Inc. (West Lafayette, Ind.) $300,000
Combined Extinction/Fluorescence Absorption Diagnostics for Sprays—a prototype of a quality audit system for sprays used to deliver medicine such as from inhalers or machines that coat tablets.

High Precision Devices, Inc. (Boulder, Colo.) $300,000
Optimization of the NIST/UCSF Breast Phantom—a cost effective, shelf-stable NIST-designed MRI breast phantom for calibration of MRI systems used in breast cancer research studies and clinical settings.

Commercialization of NIST Technologies

Seacoast Science, Inc. (Carlsbad, Calif.) $300,000
Thermo-focusing Chromatography - High Sensitivity Chromatography for Chemical Analysis— a unique environmental monitor incorporating the NIST-patented “Recirculating Temperature Wave Focusing Chromatography,” which Seacost is licensing.

As a non-regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. To learn more about NIST, visit www.nist.gov.

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Last updated: 2015-09-04 11:55

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