NASA has introduced its newest batch of small enterprise grants, offering greater than 300 companies a complete of $51 million in essential early-stage funding. These “phase I” projects obtain as much as $125,000 to assist convey new applied sciences to market.
The Small Enterprise Innovation Analysis/Expertise Switch packages assist entrepreneurs and inventors transition their work from lab to industrial availability. The cash is sort of a grant, not an funding, and Part I recipients are eligible for bigger Part II grants in the event that they’re warranted.
This yr’s choices, as at all times, cowl dozens of disciplines and apply to a variety of industries. Among NASA’s own highlights in a news release are high-power photo voltaic arrays, a sensible air site visitors management system for city flight, a water purification system to be used on the moon and improved lithium-ion batteries.
There’s even one award for an organization making “a compact sterilizer to be used on spacecraft supplies” that may be employed by well being staff.
Perusing the lists I used to be struck by the variety of neuromorphic computing efforts, from radiation-hardened chips to software program strategies. I take these to be chips and approaches that make the most of and speed up machine studying strategies, moderately than makes an attempt at computer systems that actually make use of the spikes and plasticity of precise neuronal networks.
The 2020 Part II bulletins gained’t come for some time — NASA simply launched 2019’s last month.
The SBIR program is likely one of the federal authorities’s inadvertently best-kept secrets and techniques, with billions allotted to a dozen businesses to distribute to small companies. You can learn more at SBIR.gov.