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NASA Selects Small Business Research And Tech Projects

December 9, 2010

NASA is negotiating contracts with 350 small businesses that had the best proposals to address critical research and technology needs for agency programs and projects. The proposals are part of NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research Program, known as SBIR, and the Small Business Technology Transfer program, known as STTR.

“The SBIR and STTR programs help facilitate innovative research and technology development among America’s most creative small businesses,” said Bobby Braun, NASA chief technologist at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington. “These Phase 1 awards will serve as seed funds for transformative research and technology projects that have the potential to mature new products and services of great benefit to NASA and the nation.”

The SBIR program selected 450 proposals for negotiation of Phase 1 contracts with a total value of approximately $45 million. The STTR program chose 45 proposals for negotiation of Phase 1 contracts with a total value of approximately $4.5 million. The SBIR contracts will be awarded to 309 small, high technology firms in 37 states. The STTR contracts will be awarded to 41 small high technology firms in 16 states. As part of the STTR program, the firms will partner with 41 universities or research institutions in 22 states. For a complete list of selected companies, visit: http://sbir.nasa.gov

Innovative research areas among these selected proposals include:

- Analytical and experimental methodologies for reliably predicting the effects of aeroelasticity and its impact on aircraft performance, flight dynamics, and safety of flight;

- Advanced photovoltaic systems to enable low cost, low mass, high reliability and efficient power generation systems for a wide variety of deep space exploration missions;

- Innovative technologies for accurate measurements of atmospheric parameters and surface topography of the Earth, Mars, the moon and other planetary bodies;

- Technologies that provide innovative ways to leverage existing International Space Station facilities for new scientific payloads and on orbit analysis to enhance capabilities and reduce sample return requirements.

The programs address specific technology gaps in NASA missions while striving to complement other agency research investments. Program results have benefited numerous NASA efforts, including air traffic control systems, Earth observing spacecraft, the space shuttle and International Space Station, and robotic explorers.

The highly competitive SBIR/STTR program is a three-phase award system. It provides qualified small businesses with opportunities to propose unique ideas that meet specific research and development needs of the federal government.

Phase I is a feasibility study to evaluate the scientific and technical merit of an idea. Awards are typically for six months for the SBIR contracts and twelve months for the STTR contracts, in amounts up to $100,000. Firms successfully completing a Phase I are eligible to submit a Phase II proposal expanding on the results of the developments in Phase I, providing awards for as long as two years in amounts up to $750,000. Phase III is for the commercialization of the results of Phase II and requires the use of private sector or non-SBIR federal funding.

NASA received 1,876 Phase I proposals. The winners were selected based on technical merit and feasibility, experience, qualifications and facilities, effectiveness of the work plan and commercial potential and feasibility.

NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., manages the SBIR and STTR programs for NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist. NASA collaborates with U.S. industry to develop pioneering technologies, infuse them into agency missions and transition them into commercially available products and services. NASA’s 10 field centers manage individual projects.

For more information about NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/oct




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