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NASA builds on investments in small businesses

Posted on 02 Jun 2020 and read 500 times
NASA builds on investments in small businessesNASA has selected 139 proposals for follow-on funding though its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programme; the Phase II awards will provide about $104 million to 124 companies located in 31 states.

The agency annually invests in small US businesses with promising new technologies — such as better batteries, virtual assistants and lightweight materials — that can benefit space missions, as well as improve life on Earth.

Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, said: “Small businesses offer innovative solutions that benefit every area of NASA and often find applications outside the agency. This announcement is another step forward in our Moon to Mars exploration approach.”

The Phase II awards will help to advance NASA priorities, including the Artemis programme (to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024), as well as other initiatives in aeronautics, human exploration and operations, science and space technology.

The selected companies are previous NASA SBIR Phase I award recipients that have established the feasibility of their proposed technologies.

NASA’s SBIR programme is conducted in three phases: Phase I is the opportunity to establish the scientific, technical and commercial merit and feasibility of the proposed innovation (SBIR Phase I contracts last for six months, with a maximum funding of $125,000); Phase II is focused on the development, demonstration and delivery of the innovation (Phase II contracts last for 24 months, with a maximum funding of $750,000); Phase III is the commercialisation of innovative technologies, products and services resulting from either a Phase I or Phase II contract. Phase III contracts are funded from sources other than the NASA SBIR programme.