NASA announces their selections for small business and research teams for technology development

June 24, 2024
The agency will award funding to nearly 250 small business teams to develop new technologies to address agency priorities, such as carbon neutrality and energy storage for various applications in space and on Earth.

WASHINGTON - The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced that the agency will provide funding to nearly 250 small business teams to develop new technologies aimed at addressing NASA priorities such as carbon neutrality and energy storage for applications in space and on Earth. The awards come from NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Each team will receive $150,000 to assess the feasibility of their innovations, with the total investment amounting to $44.85 million.

“NASA is proud to continue its commitment to the creation and elevation of technologies that blaze trails in space and on Earth,” said Jenn Gustetic, director of early-stage innovation and partnerships for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

The Phase I SBIR contracts, lasting six months, are awarded to small businesses, while the Phase I STTR contracts, lasting 13 months, are awarded to small businesses in partnership with research institutions. In total, 209 small businesses received SBIR awards, and 39 small businesses and their research institution partners, including eight Minority Serving Institutions, received STTR awards. The full list of SBIR and STTR awardees is available online.

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Exquadrum Inc., a minority-owned small business in Victorville, Calif., is among the firms working on carbon neutrality. Their proposed technology aims to help the U.S. achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 by offering higher energy conversion efficiency with no pollutant emissions. The compact and lightweight propulsion system is reliable under extreme weather conditions and has potential applications in the exploration of planets with atmospheres like Mars.

“Through our partnership with, and investment in, small businesses and research institutions, NASA continues to forge a crucial path in the development of technologies that have a concerted focus on long-term commercial uses,” said Jason L. Kessler, program executive for NASA’s SBIR/STTR program. “Our ongoing support of diverse innovators from throughout the country will continue to foster an ecosystem that will nurture the intrapreneurial spirit to drive innovation and exciting results.”

The new SBIR/STTR investments will impact 41 states. Among the recipients is Energized Composite Technologies in Orlando, Fla., which is partnering with the University of Central Florida. They are exploring the use of carbon fiber-reinforced thermoplastic composite structural batteries for repurposable space applications. These structural battery panels integrate energy storage into the spacecraft's structural components, maximizing payload space and offering repurposable uses after landing.

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NASA selected Phase I proposals based on their technical merit and responsiveness to known challenges. Companies may later submit proposals for up to $850,000 in Phase II funding to develop prototypes and further opportunities in the SBIR/STTR Post Phase II program.

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